When Tasmanian photographer Thomas Nevin (1842-1923) married Elizabeth Rachel Day (1847-1914) on July 12th, 1871 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley, Hobart, they 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 James Day, may have been involved with a detachment of the British Merchant Navy at the Crimean War.
Above: Chelsea Hospital veterans read of the news of the fall of Sebastopol 1855
Courtesy Brown University Archives
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 of Foot at the Canadian Rebellions of 1837-38 and discharged in 1841 from the Chelsea Hospital. 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.
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This is the medallion, still held in the Nevin family, which was passed on to Thomas Nevin and Elizabeth Rachel’s youngest son Albert (1888-1957), 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.
General view of Sevastopol
CCA: Canadian Centre for Architecture