Sole issue Victorian Army Long Service Medal. Davidson. 16th Foot (Bedfordshires). Seagoe, Portadown, Northern Ireland.


Correctly named 357 Pte J Davidson 16th Foot

James was born in Seagoe near the town of Portadown in Armagh North Ireland in 1837.

Working as a weaver, he enlisted into the 2nd Battalion 16th Foot in 1858. He served for 21 years and 212 days.

1858. The 2nd battalion of the 16th Foot are raised in Ireland. All line regiments up to the 25th are expanded to include a 2nd battalion following reforms resulting in the glaring deficiencies shown up in the Crimean War and the Indian Mutinies.
1859. The 2nd battalion is stationed in Ireland.
1861. The 1st battalion sent to Montreal, later to defend the border with America against Fenian raiders. The 2nd are sent to Halifax in Canada on their first foreign service and spend their time in Nova Scotia. Both battalions remain in Canada in response to tensions between America and the British Empire, following the American Civil War.
1866. The 1st battalion are involved in several small engagements along the borders around Niagara against the attempted invasion by American Fenian’s.
1866. 2nd battalion are sent to the West Indies.
1869. 2nd battalion return home and are posted to Curragh in Ireland.
1870. 1st battalion join the 2nd in Curragh. The British Army is reorganized including the abolishment of purchasing commissions and the raising of a Reserve army amongst other things.
1873. Further reforms divide the country into ‘Brigade Districts’, usually consisting of one or more county, the 16th Foot being allocated the 33rd Brigade District comprised of Bedfordshire. Each district had a permanent depot, with the barracks at Kempston being assigned as the Brigade District base. The depots became the base for paired’ battalions, with one being held on home service whilst the other was assigned a post on ‘foreign service’.
1876. The Regimental Barracks and Depot are completed on the Kempston Road, about 1 mile west of Bedford town centre. The building cost around £50,000 at the time and stood on a 23 acre site, 13 of which were used for encampments, drill and recreation grounds. The main building was formed into three sides of a quadrangle, housing the entire stores, powder magazines, Officers and men’s quarters, including some married person’s quarters, canteens, Mess Halls and other such areas. The 1st battalion remained stationed in Ireland whilst the 2nd battalion were sent to Madras in India.

The medal has a modern replacement ribbon.

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