Royal Army Temperance Association Medal, ten years of abstinence, awarded to Colour Sergeant J H Smith, Royal Munster Fusiliers, 1905 (c)
Silver open-work medal with a helmet with a cross pattee badge on crossed lances and a crossed rifle and sword, surmounted by a crown, with a scroll below bearing the inscription, 'Royal Army Temperance Association'. The medal is suspended from a maroon and dark blue ribbon.
From the 1850s regimental and garrison temperance associations had been established to combat high rates of drunkenness and to encourage and reward temperance towards alcohol. The Soldiers' Total Abstinence Association (STAA) was founded in 1862 by the Reverend John Gelson Gregson, in and attempt to amalgamate the many military temperance societies set up in British India. The STAA was a success and gained official approval in 1876 with a government financial grant. The intervention of Lord Roberts, Commander in Chief in India, led to the association being replaced in 1888 with the Army Temperance Association, India. A Home branch was formed in 1893 and in 1902 the Association was granted its 'Royal' prefix by King Edward VII.
One of the rewards the Association provided to its members were medals that recognised their commitment to temperance. Some medals continued to be issued after organisational name changes were made as updated replacements were not always immediately available. This medal was awarded for ten years of abstinence from alcohol.
Dating from around 1905, this medal replaced a similar medal issued by the Army Temperance Association, India, and a version produced by the Home Association. The former was known as 'The Roberts' Medal', named after Field Marshal Lord Roberts.
From a medal group awarded to Colour Sergeant J H Smith, Instructor of Musketry, Royal Munster Fusiliers.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum Copyright
National Army Museum, Soldier gallery