Usually this is the most popular group of medals among collectors worldwide due not only to their richness, as far as historical context is concerned, but also to their accessible prices having been awarded in greater numbers.
They include mostly «military» medals commemorating the participation of individuals in a given combat action. But there are exceptions, like the Yellow Fever Medal which is a typical civilian commemorative medal.
This group can thus be divided in two subgroups: firstly, the medals awarded predominantly to military referred above and secondly, those medals awarded in recognition of special conditions which occur in an individual.
The former includes:
• the first medals created after the Peninsular War – the Cross and the Star for the Montevideu Campaigns;
• the Medal for the Restoration of the King’s Rights (Medalha da Restauração dos Direitos da Realeza) commonly known, as the Vila Francada Medal;
• its «sister» the Medal of the Transmontana Division;
• the Medal for the Auxiliary Division to Spain (Carlist War of 1835-37);
• the Medal of Dom Pedro V (Angola Campaigns of 1860);
• the Medal of Dom Pedro and Queen D. Maria (Civil War, 1826-34);
• the Medal of Queen D. Amélia with its numerous types/campaigns of the Portuguese Empire; and its direct successors,
• the Commemorative Medal of the Campaigns of the Armed Forces, and
• the Commemorative Medal for Services in Special Commission, which is awarded today to those serving worldwide in peace and humanitarian missions, attached to multinational forces;
• the Medal of Victory created simultaneously by 13 allied nations after WWI, including Portugal;
• the Naval Medal commemorating the V Centenary of Prince Henry, the Navigator’s death, created in 1960.
The second subgroup of commemorative medals, include:
• the Medal for the Mutilated and Crippled in campaign which, since the Regulations of 2002, is oddly called, the Commemorative Medal for Wounds in Combat;
• the Commemorative Medal for Promotion by Distinguished Services;
• the Recognition Medal, awarded to those who endured imprisonment in times of conflict and who were considered Prisoners of War.
By Paulo Jorge Estrela