Book Reviews

The King's and Queen's Medal for Shooting 1869 - 1998

By David Owen


1999 marked the 130th anniversary of the award of the first Queen's Medal to Sergeant T B Ryle of the 4th Regiment of Foot. So began the story of the Sovereign's premier award for shooting that is still presented each year to the Champion Shot of the Navy, Army and Air Force at Bisley, and one or two Commonwealth Countries.

Medals for marksmanship seem to have originated in Great Britain and the earliest examples are probably the medals awarded from about 1790 to the best shot at 100 yards for 'Ball Firing on Highgate Common'. By the early nineteenth century they were becoming popular as incentives to accuracy. The first medal for shooting to be awarded for competition among Volunteers was the Gold medal instituted by the National Rifle Association in 1860 at Wimbledon and later at Bisley. In January 1856 it was recommended that a system of prizes for good shooting for the Regular Army be adapted and a Royal Warrant, in which details of prizes were given, was published on 3 February 1856. From 1869 to 1882, the first Queen's Medal was awarded which, after a break of forty years, was resurrected in 1923. This book traces the history of the medal, lists all recipients of The King's and Queen's Medal and has photographs and profiles of over one hundred winners. It also contains many interesting facts and figures about the weapons used, matches fired and results achieved. It will undoubtedly become a permanent record of this unique award. The book will be of interest to shooters, medal collectors and anyone else interested in military and social history.

David Owen has written and produced what will become the definitive work on this subject and it will be a useful addition to any medal collector's library, excellently illustrated and easy to follow.

Price £15 plus £3 postage and packing UK, £4 Europe, £6 rest of the world.

6 Broadlands, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 7ER, UK