About the product

NGS Syria Crimea Baltic Group


Naval General Service, bar Syria, Baltic, Crimea, 2 bars, Sebastopol, Azoff, Turkish Crimea, St Jean D’Acre, Gunner Samuel Todd, Royal Navy, Chief Gunner’s Mate in Crimea.

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SKU: J8869 Category:
Origin: United Kingdom
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Naval General Service, bar Syria, Baltic Medal 1854-55, Crimea War Medal, 2 bars, Sebastopol, Azoff, Turkish Crimea, Sardinian Issue, Turkey St Jean D’Acre 1840, Bronze, Gunner Samuel Todd, Royal Navy.


Gunner 1st Class Samuel Todd, saw a long and varied career lasting 41 years in the Royal Navy joining up as young as 14, until he was discharged to pension at the age of 55 in 1875.


His retirement notice in the Hampshire Telegraph, 25th September 1875 recalls:


“Mr Samuel Todd, Gunner, HMS Durham, at Sunderland, has been presented with a valuable Meerschaum Pipe by the ship’s company as a token of their esteem and respect on his leaving the above ship for his retirement, after about 41 years service in the Royal Navy, during which period he has served in all parts of the globe, and possesses 4 War Medals, viz, The Acre, Baltic, Black Sea and Turkish.

On the pipe is affixed an elegant silver badge, bearing the following inscription:-

“Presented to Mr Samuel Todd, R.N., by the Ship’s Company of HMS Durham, as a token of respect on his leaving the Service, Septemer 1875.”

The presentation was made by Henry Baker, Chief Gunner’s Mate, on behalf of the ship’s company, in a suitable speech, which was responded to by Mr Todd with manifest emotion.”


He saw a number of interesting moments including:


During 1840, he took part in the Syria Campaign on HMS Dido.


During 1842, was on a 4 year commission around North and South America, during which they shipped over Sir Charles Bagot GCB PC to Canada to become the second Governor General of the Province of Canada.

He would also whilst on his ship, lead as the flagship a fleet to Honduras in a show of power, during Former President Francisco Morazan’s attempt to reunite the Confederation of South America, which led to his arrest and execution later that year.


During 1845, on a commission on HMS Carysfort between 1845 and 1848, similarly took on board Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy, his wife the Right Hon Lady Mary and their second son George, made the Voyage on the HMS Carysfort from London to Sydney, where Sir Charles took up his position as the 10th Governor of New South Wales. 

Before moving on to Valparaiso and South America, she provided information back home regarding the ongoing New Zealand Waikato Wars sending back a letter that HMS North Star had gone to the Cape to drop off Marines. (This was the Frontier Wars which led to the South Africa 1853 Medal).


During 1854-55, served in the Crimean War and in the Baltic Sea, as Chief Gunner’s Mate of HMS Algiers.


Following that he joined HMS Antelope from 1856 to 1859, where he captured a number of Slave Ships whilst serving on the West Coast of Africa on Anti-Slavery duties, including a minor diplomatic incident when a Spanish Schooner resisted against being boarded by the Antelope.




NGS Syria officially impressed: “Saml. Todd”


All medals are unnamed as issued apart from the NGS which is of course officially impressed. Note the Turkish Crimea has a different suspension since last seen in 2020, the other 4 medals are exactly as seen in past offerings.


Provenance: First recorded as sold in Glendinings during November 1913 for £2.10, then Christies July 1983 making £520, and Spink March 1995, making £420. DNW 23rd September 2005, £2700 Hammer (£3348 including premiums), Spink 2020, Hammer Price £1900 (£2356 including premiums).


All medals correct regarding entitlement, apart from the Azoff clasp which is unconfirmed, HMS Algiers was however present during the Azoff operations.


Medal Rolls record that during the Crimean War, his 3 related medals were earned as Chief Gunner’s Mate of HMS Algiers.


Medals accompanied by an original old photograph of the recipient set into a brooch.


As well a hefty file of extensive research including medal rolls, full service papers etc.


His retirement noted on HMS Durham, in the Broad Arrow, 2nd October 1875:

“HMS Durham, Drilll Ship for the Royal Navay Reserve, Commander William Howorth.

Mr Samuel Todd, Gunner of this vessel, was recently presented with a valuable meerschaum pipe by his ship’s company, as a token of their respect upon leaving this vessel on his retirement, after 41 years service in the Royal Navy. The presentation was made by Henry Baker, Chief Gunners’ Mate, ob behalf of the ship’s company in a suitable speec, which was responded to by Mr Todd.”



Samuel Todd, was born in Kingston, Hampshire on 17th September 1820.


As a boy of 17, he first signed on with the Royal Navy on HMS Dido, on 11th May 1838.


During his time on board he took part in the actions on and off the coast of Syria during 1840, earning him the NGS Medal.


He would see the following appointments and promotions throughout his long career:


Boy 2nd Class, 11th May 1838

Boy 1st Class, 28th June 1840

Ordinary Seaman, 6th September 1841.

Able Seaman, 9th May 1844.

Able Seaman (S. G.), 29th December 1845. 

Ch Main Top, 5th April 1846.

Chief Gunner’s Mate, 18th April 1854

Gunner 2nd Class, 23rd December 1862

Gunner 1st Class, 15th September 1870.


Discharged to Pension on 22nd November 1875.


His ship postings:


HMS “Dido” 11.5.1838-5.9.1841.

During this time joined up as a Boy and saw action the Syria Campaign of 1840.


HMS “Illustrious” 6.9.1841-22.6.1845.

Joined the ship as she was getting ready to head out from Portsmouth for North America, carrying Sir C. Bagot, the Govenor General of Canada designate.


The journey was recalled in the Athlone Sentinel, 21st January 1842:


“The British line of Battle Ship, Illustrious, having on board his Excellency Sir Charles Bagot, the new Governor General of Canada, had arrived at New York after a protracted passage of 25 days. Immediately on the announcement that the Illustrious was off the port, Mr Buchanan, the British Consul, proceeded to sea in a steam boat, for the purpose of receiving his Excellent. Sir CHalres would remain in New York for a few days and then proceed to the Canadian Seat of Government, in order to assume the reins of Government. the Inhabitants of the Canadas were anxiously awaiting the arrival of his Excellency.”


Spend almost 4 years around North and South America, including on 5th April 1842: “Departed Jamaica with the Squadron for Honduras and Belize to resolve some local political problems.” (This likely being the 1842 Attempt of Former President Fraciszo Morazan, who proposed to restore the Confederation of South America including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, he was captured and executed later that year.)


The following letter of complaint was made by William Dobson Esq of Lloyd’s Shipping, dated 14th April 1842, from Honduras.


“Sir, I request your reference to the annexed list, by which you will see we have a squadron of ships of war here consisting of Her Majesty’s Ship Illustrious, 72, Admiral Adams, Electra, Racehorse, Racer, Charybdis, Sloops of War, and the Hydra Steamer, and more are expected, causes anxiety to its object.

The Admiral observes the most profound secrecy. It is known that our Governor, Colonel M’Donald, has had unpleasant correspondence, and collision with the authorities of Central America; that Government have claims on them, and it is rumoured, is to make some demonstration, which, if he does, will prove very injurious to the Merchants of this settlement.”


HMS “Excellent” 23.6.1845-28.12.1845.


HMS “Carysfort” 29.12.1845-25.3.1848.

Under the Command of Captain George Henry Seymour, during this period. 

Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy, his wife the Right Hon Lady Mary and their second son George, made the Voyage on the HMS Carysfort from London to Sydney, where Sir Charles took up his position as the 10th Governor of New South Wales. They arrived on 2nd August 1846.


HMS “Excellent” 26.3.1848-10.7.1849.


HMS “Persia” 11.7.1849-15.4.1853.

Saw familiar service in South America, Nassau, Honduras, Bermuda, Jamaica.


HMS “Excellent” 16.4.1853-17.4.1854.


HMS “Algiers” 18.4.1854-1.1.1856.


Having joined the Algiers as a Chief Gunner’s Mate, he would see service in the Crimean War of 1854-55, including serving in the Baltic Sea, the capture of Kertch and Yenikale (Sea of Azov / Azoff), Siege of Sebastopol.


HMS “Excellent” 9.7.1856-6.12.1856.


HMS “Antelope” 7.12.1856-12.10.1859.

This time, he was sent to the West Coast of Africa for almost 3 years.


During this time, he served on Anti Slavery duties, departing England on 14th Jan 1857.


He would take part in the capture of a number of slave ships in the region.


29th June 1857, detained the Slave Schooner Jupiter, under Master J. Gilbert

3rd September 1857, detained the Slave Schooner Joseph H. Record, under Master H.P. Williams, rescuing 191 slaves on board.

31st Dec to 1st Jan 1858, attempted to board the Spanish Merchant Brig DON JUAN, which refused to show her flag, and prevented a boarding party from visiting the vessel off Great Popoe. This would escalate into a minor diplomatic incident through the apparently “bloody mindedness of the Master”. There is some suggestion that due to the date they were perhaps getting a little wild with the New Years celebrations.


HMS “Excellent” 13.10.1859-12.7.1860.

HMS “Asia” 13.7.1860-22.11.1860.


HMS “Immortalite” 23.11.1860-15.7.1864.

Commissioned for service on the North America and West Indies Station.


HMS “Excellent” 16.7.1864-1.4.1865.

HMS “Hibernia” 2.4.1865-6.4.1868.

HMS “Excellent” 5.6.1868-3.5.1869.

HMS “St Vincent” 4.5.1869-27.7.1869.

HMS “Excellent” 28.7.1869-1.10.1869.

HMS “Crocodile” 2.10.1869-1.5.1870.

HMS “Excellent” 2.5.1870-21.10.1872.

HMS “Durham” 22.10.1872-30.9.1875.

HMS “Excellent” 1.10.1875-22.11.1875.