What is the St Helena medal ?
It was created by Napoleon III. It is estimated that 405 000 soldiers of the Grande Armee (French, Belgiums, Dutch, Danish, Irish, etc..) received this medal. This is an estimation because of the destruction of the archives of the order in a fire. All these beneficiaries had to prove they belonged to the Grande Armee in the period between 1792 and 1815.
Is it possible that my ancestor is a medal holder?
The vital condition is that he had to be alive in 1857. He should then have been between 60 and 90 years old to have been able to receive this distinction.
Where can I find his documents ?
There is no file. If he lived in France you may be able to get more details from the Departmental Archives,such as the written proof that he belonged to the Grande Armée. Here are some examples of what you may find. To see the classification where you find these documents in the Departmental Archives, click here.
How can I get more information on any one soldier ?
If the database gives you his regiment, you may be able to find his military file, in the SHAT (Historical service of the French army) based in Vincennes.
Could this medal have been awarded posthumously?
Why is my medal not present in the database?
There are various possible answers. Some documents disappeared and we were not able to find them or the transcription is not yet finished. If you have information that proves that a soldier is a holder of the St Helena medal, contact us.
Where can I get more information about a regiment ?
From many books or websites which deal with this subject (See our links).
How much does a medal or a certificate cost? Where can I buy them ?
It is quite easy to buy a medal. You should consider that 60-90 euros is a good price for a medal with its ribbon. You can find some medals in antique shops and on the Internet such as on Ebay. Do not pay more than 60-140 euros for a certificate.