John NEVIN in the Royal Scots
The MEDAL, Fall of Sebastopol and Treaty of Paris
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. It may have been a gift from Thomas Nevin’s father-in-law, Captain James Day, navigator and first mate to his brother-in-law, merchant mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith whose return to his estate at Gadshill, Higham Kent on retirement coincided with the Treaty of Paris in 1856.
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 J. Nevin’s father John Nevin snr (1808-1887) who had served in The Royal Scots 1st Regiment of Foot in the West Indies from 1825 followed by service at the Canadian Rebellions of 1837-38. He was discharged on medical grounds to the Chelsea Hospital, London in 1841, returning to Ireland in 1842, migrating a decade later to Tasmania in 1852 with his wife Mary Ann Dickson and four children. The medallion may have been a gift from one his old friends from the Royals, well-known Tasmanian, William Grahame, father of Major Grahame, who had served in The Royal Scots Fusiliers at the Crimean War. His service was documented in James Clark’s Regimental Memoir (1885). Two weeks before John Nevin’s death in October 1887 in his beloved garden at Kangaroo Valley, Hobart, a few of the “old boys from in the Royals” visited him, according to his obituary in the Mercury, 11th October 1887. Read John Nevin’s full obituary here at the Australian Dictionary of Biography.
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
James Clark (1885) Historical Record and Regimental Memoir of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, Formerly Known as the 21st Royal North British Fusiliers (1885)
Containing An Account Of The Formation Of The Regiment In 1678 And Its Subsequent Services Until June 1885.
This medal was passed down from Thomas and Elizabeth Rachel Nevin, and is currently held in the private collection of descendants.
Photos © KLW NFC 2009 ARR.
Medallion and photos © KLW NFC Imprint private collection 2009 ARR.
DESCRIPTION of MEDAL and WAR
Bitish Historical Medals 1837-1901 Vol 2
The Reign of Q.Victoria, by Laurence Brown 1987.
BEATO’s PHOTOGRAPHS 1855
General view of Sevastopol 1855
CCA: Canadian Centre for Architecture
MAP of the BLACK SEA, Crimea inset, 1912
Crimean War – image from atlas published in 1912. Source: https://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/ward_1912/black_sea_crimean_war.jpg, https://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/ward_1912.html