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Title 1908 Messina earthquake medal
Nationality Italian
Period c 1908

This is the merit medal awarded by the Italian government to senior figures in both their own forces/civil service and foreign navies for helping to organise the relief for the Messina earthquake which affected Calabria and Sicily to the tune of some 150,000 casualties. In this format (diameter approx 35mm), about 300 were issued.

One medal of this size in gold is known for the Russian navy. The Royal Navy (British) received several thousand of the smaller award as a commemorative medal and thanks from the Italian government for their services in shore parties and medical relief. The Mediterranean fleet was on exercises at the time in the neighbourhood of Malta and was thus able to extensively aid the Italians in their dire plight.

The condition is excellent, although the ribbon is missing. As award medals to be worn, this has to be among the rarest of the rare!

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Militaria : Medals : Italian : 20th Century]


The bayonet is a splendid addition to my collection...

C T, UK, 03.12.2008

I am more and more pleased with the sword, and am wondering whether to do an article on it...

M M, UK, 04.11.2005