Second China War Medal with clasps & Royal Navy Long Service Medal to Boatman Robert Allery.
The Second China War Medal was issued by the British Government in 1861 to members of the British and Indian armies and Royal Navy who took part in the Second Opium War of 1857 to 1860 against China. )</sup "William Wyon") The medal was designed by [William Wyon]
The medal's obverse shows the diademed head of Queen Victoria with the legend ‘VICTORIA REGINA’. The reverse has the same shield bearing the Royal Arms, with a palm tree and trophy of arms behind, as found on the First China War Medal with the inscription ‘ARMIS EXPOSCERE PACIM’ above and the word ‘CHINA’ in the exergue below. The suspender is the same as that used on the Indian Mutiny Medal.
The medal was issued with the following clasps:
- China 1842 (awarded to those who had already received the medal for the First China War)
- Fatshan 1857
- Canton 1857
- Taku Forts 1858
- Taku Forts 1860
- Pekin 1860
The medal could also be awarded without a clasp.
The 32 mm ribbon is crimson with yellow edges. The original design had five equal stripes of blue, yellow, red, white and green, edged with red, representing the colours of the Qing dynasty flag, but this ribbon was not finally adopted.
Royal Marines and Royal NavyThey were usually issued with unnamed medals
The Second Opium War (Chinese: 第二次鴉片戰爭; pinyin: Dì'èrcì Yāpiàn Zhànzhēng), also known as the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China,was a war pitting the United Kingdom and the French Empire against the Qing dynasty of China, lasting from 1856 to 1860.
It is the second major war in the Opium Wars, fought over issues relating to the exportation of opium to China, and resulted in a second defeat for the Qing dynasty. The agreements of the Convention of Peking led to the ceding of Kowloon Peninsula as part of Hong Kong.
Through 1857, British forces began to assemble in Hong Kong, joined by a French force. In December 1857 they had sufficient ships and men to raise the issue of the non-fulfilment of the treaty obligations by which the right of entry into Canton had been accorded.Parkes delivered an ultimatum, supported by Hong Kong governor Sir John Bowring and Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, threatening on 14 December to bombard Canton if the men were not released within 24 hours.
The remaining crew of the Arrow were then released, with no apology from Viceroy Ye Mingchen who also refused to honour the treaty terms. Seymour, Major General van Straubenzee and Admiral de Genouilly agreed the plan to attack Canton as ordered. This event came to be known as the Arrow Incident and provided the alternative name of the ensuing conflict.
The capture of Canton, on 1 January 1858, a city with a population of over 1,000,000 by less than 6,000 troops, resulted in the British and French forces suffering 15 killed and 113 wounded. 200–650 of the defenders and inhabitants became casualties.Ye Mingchen was captured and exiled to Calcutta, India, where he starved himself to death.
Three battles of Taku Forts
In June 1858, shortly after the Qing imperial court agreed to the disadvantageous treaties, hawkish ministers prevailed upon the Xianfeng Emperor to resist Western encroachment. On 2 June 1858, the Xianfeng Emperor ordered the Mongol general Sengge Rinchen to guard the Taku Forts (also romanized as Ta-ku Forts and also called Daku Forts) near Tianjin. Sengge Rinchen reinforced the forts with additional artillery pieces. He also brought 4,000 Mongol cavalry from Chahar and Suiyuan.
The Second Battle of Taku Forts took place in June 1859. A British naval force with 2,200 troops and 21 ships, under the command of Admiral Sir James Hope, sailed north from Shanghai to Tianjin with newly appointed Anglo-French envoys for the embassies in Beijing. They sailed to the mouth of the Hai River guarded by the Taku Forts near Tianjin and demanded to continue inland to Beijing. Sengge Rinchen replied that the Anglo-French envoys might land up the coast at Beitang and proceed to Beijing but he refused to allow armed troops to accompany them to the Chinese capital. The Anglo-French forces insisted on landing at Taku instead of Beitang and escorting the diplomats to Beijing. On the night of 24 June 1859, a small batch of British forces blew up the iron obstacles that the Chinese had placed in the Baihe River. The next day, the British forces sought to forcibly sail into the river, and shelled the Taku Forts. Low tide and soft mud prevented their landing, however, and accurate fire from Sengge Rinchen's cannons sank four gunboats and severely damaged two others. American Commodore Josiah Tattnall, although under orders to maintain neutrality, declared "blood is thicker than water," and provided covering fire to protect the British convoy's retreat. The failure to take the Taku Forts was a blow to British prestige, and anti-foreign resistance reached a crescendo within the Qing imperial court.
Once the Indian Mutiny was finally quelled, Sir Colin Campbell, commander-in-chief in India, was free to amass troops and supplies for another offensive in China. A 'soldiers' general', Campbell's experience of casualties from disease in the First Opium War led him to provide the British forces with more than enough materiel and supplies, and casualties were light.
The Third Battle of Taku Forts took place in the summer of 1860. London once more dispatched Lord Elgin with an Anglo-French force of 11,000 British troops under General James Hope Grant and 6,700 French troops under General Cousin-Montauban. They pushed north with 173 ships from Hong Kong and captured the port cities of Yantai and Dalian to seal the Bohai Gulf. On 3 August they carried out a landing near Beitang (also romanized as "Pei-t'ang"), some 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the Taku Forts, which they captured after three weeks on 21 August.
Southern Chinese laborers served with the French and British forces. One observer reported that the "Chinese coolies", as he called them, "renegades though they were, served the British faithfully and cheerfully... At the assault of the Peiho Forts in 1860 they carried the French ladders to the ditch, and, standing in the water up to their necks, supported them with their hands to enable the storming party to cross. It was not usual to take them into action; they, however, bore the dangers of a distant fire with great composure, evincing a strong desire to close with their compatriots, and engage them in mortal combat with their bamboos."
After taking Tianjin on 23 August, the Anglo-French forces marched inland toward Beijing. The Xianfeng Emperor then dispatched ministers for peace talks, but the British diplomatic envoy, Harry Parkes, insulted the imperial emissary and word arrived that the British had kidnapped the prefect of Tianjin. Parkes was arrested in retaliation on 18 September. Parkes and his entourage were imprisoned and interrogated. Half were reportedly executed by slow slicing, with the application of tourniquets to severed limbs to prolong the torture. This infuriated British leadership when they recovered the unrecognizable bodies.
Burning of the Summer Palaces
With the Qing army devastated, the Xianfeng Emperor fled the capital and left behind his brother, Prince Gong, to take charge of peace negotiations. Xianfeng first fled to the Chengde Summer Palace and then to Rehe Province. Anglo-French troops in Beijing began looting the Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) and Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) immediately (as they were full of valuable artwork).
After Parkes and the surviving diplomatic prisoners were freed on 8 October, Lord Elgin ordered the Summer Palaces to be destroyed, starting on 18 October. Beijing was not occupied; the Anglo-French army remained outside the city.
The destruction of the Forbidden City was discussed, as proposed by Lord Elgin to discourage the Qing Empire from using kidnapping as a bargaining tool, and to exact revenge on the mistreatment of their prisoners. Elgin's decision was further motivated by the torture and murder of almost twenty Western prisoners, including two British envoys and a journalist for The Times. The Russian envoy Count Ignatiev and the French diplomat Baron Gros settled on the burning of the Summer Palaces instead, since it was "least objectionable" and would not jeopardise the signing of the treaty.
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