When Tasmanian photographer Thomas Nevin (1842-1923) married Elizabeth Rachel Day (1847-1914) on July 12th, 1871 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley, Hobart, the couple were gifted a medallion issued to commemorate the end of the Crimean War: the Fall of Sebastopol 1855 and the ensuing Treaty of Paris 1856.
The provenance of the 1856 Treaty of Paris medallion prior to its acquisition by the Nevin family is not known. Thomas Nevin’s father-in-law, Captain Day, may have been involved with a detachment of the British Navy at the Crimean War.
Captain James Day (1804-1882), Guard Captain of the 3rd detachment of 99th Regiment of Foot in the 1840s, and master mariner 1854-1880, arrived in Hobart on board the convict transport Candahar in 1842 with 60 troops under his command, and 250 male convicts.
Detachments of the 99th Regiment were sent from Hobart to Norfolk Island and New Zealand. In 1845 members were sent to New Zealand to quell the Maori rebellion. A detachment took part in the assault on Ohaeawai Pah on 1 July 1845 and on Ruapekapeka on 10th January 1846. The campaign lasted for two years. The regiment returned to Hobart, Tasmania in 1847, stationed there until 1854 when a contigent was sent to Victoria.
Captain Day served in one of those detachments, again as guard captain of a convict transport hulk soon after the birth of his daughter Elizabeth Rachel in 1847. The Archives Office of Tasmania Arrivals index records that he returned to Hobart on 4th October, 1852 from the penal settlement on Norfolk Island on board the female convict transport hulk, the Sir Robert Seppings. He remained in Hobart, taking up residence with his family at Bathurst Street, Hobart [Source: The General Directory for Hobart, 1854,"DAY, James, mariner, Bathurst Street" NLA Ref: MCN 872]. His eldest daughter Elizabeth Rachel was born in Hobart, 1847, and her younger sister Mary Sophia was born in Hobart in 1852. Mary Sophia was a witness at the wedding of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin.
On the other hand, the medallion may have belonged to Thomas Nevin’s father John Nevin who had served in the Royal Scots 1st Regiment at the Canadian Rebellions of 1837-38, and was discharged from service as a Chelsea pensioner in 1841. A well-known Tasmanian, William Grahame and father of Major Grahame, was most likely an old friend who had served in The Royal Scots Fusiliers at the Crimean War. His service was documented in James Clark’s Regimental Memoir (1885). A few weeks before John Nevin’s death in October 1887, he was visited at his cottage in Kangaroo Valley by a few of the “old boys from in the Royals” according to his obituary in The Mercury, 11th October 1887.
Only a fortnight ago two friends of his, who were boys in the Royals, and had known him in Canada 50 years ago, paid him a visit, and a pleasant time was spent with him in recounting feats of valour long since almost forgotten.
From James Clark’s Royal Scots Regimental Memoirs 1885
Click on images for readable version
This is the medallion, still held in the Nevin family, which was passed on to Thomas Nevin and Elizabeth Rachel’s youngest son Albert (1888-1857), thence to living descendants.
Photos © KLW NFC 2009 ARR.
Medallion and photos © The Nevin Family Collection 2009 ARR.
British Historical Medals 1837-1901 Vol 2: The Reign of Q.Victoria, by Laurence Brown 1987.
Read more information from this reference in this album:
|From Treaty of Paris & Fall of Sebastopol Medallion 1856|
Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin’s wedding gift, July 1871. Dated 1855 and 1856, this is a relatively rare medallion issued to commemorate the Fall of Sebastopol (Turkey) 1855, and the Treaty of Paris 1856 which formalised cessation of the Crimean War.
From © The Nevin Family Collections 2009 ARR.
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2009 ARR.