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The Waterloo Medal Roll

The names of all those who were awarded the campaign medal for taking part in the Battle of Waterloo were recorded in the Waterloo Medal Roll. It takes the form of a large beautifully leather-bound volume, exquisitely hand-written, with the names of the soldiers entered under their regiments. The Royal Mint Museum has a copy of the Roll because all the medals for the battle were made by the Royal Mint and were also named at the Royal Mint before issue.

Una and the Lion five-pound piece

Quite apart from the survival of an original Waterloo Medal Roll being important in its own right, the volume in the Royal Mint Museum is of especial interest because of the supplementary pages appended at the end. These pages, extending into the 1830s, contain the names of additional troops to whom the medal was awarded some years after the battle for reasons relating to late claims or the loss of an original medal. It seems entirely appropriate that for the first campaign medal issued to all ranks such a handsome volume should be one of the surviving records, an emotive symbol of a defining moment in European history.