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War of 1812 - Artefact of the Week - November 16th, 2012

Military General Service Medal for Hypolite Guilbeault of the Lower Canadian Militia.

Parks Canada: X.66.80.3

This example of the Military General Service Medal (MGSM) with the clasp “Chrystler’s Farm” (note the spelling of “Crysler”) was awarded to Private Hypolite Guilbeault of 5th Battalion of the Select Embodied Militia of Lower Canada. Interestingly, Guilbeault’s regiment was not present at the battle so it seems likely he was attached to another unit at this action.

The MGSM was issued in 1848 to individuals who fought in any of 29 specific battles involving British forces between 1793-1814, which explains why Queen Victoria’s image is on the medal, and not King George III who was monarch during the award period. There were only three clasps issued for actions during the War of 1812: the capture of Fort Detroit (1812), the Battle of the Châteauguay (1813), and the Battle of Crysler’s Farm (1813).

Fought on the north bank of the St. Lawrence River in eastern Upper Canada on 11 November 1813, the Battle of Crysler’s Farm saw a force of about 1,200 British, Canadian and First Nations troops led by Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Morrison defeat 3,050 Americans under Brigadier General John Boyd. The decisive allied victory prompted Major General James Wilkinson, the overall American Commander, to cancel further efforts to capture Montreal in 1813.

For more information, visit Battle of Crysler’s Farm National Historic Site on the Parks Canada Website.

Military General Service Medal, with Chrysler’s Farm Bar, named to H. Guilbeault, Canada Militia. Reverse View Military General Service Medal, with Chrysler’s Farm Bar, named to H. Guilbeault, Canada Militia. Reverse View
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