The Tonkin Medal (1885)
Medaille du Tonkin

Instituted on the 6th September 1885, and awarded to the army and navy who served in the 1884 - 1885 campaign in north-eastern  Indochina (north Vietnam) , otherwise known as the Sino-French War.
   Description: silver, 30mm diameter, the suspension is in the form of an olive and ring. The obverse depicts 'la Republique' wearing a winged helmet with the legend REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE. This is framed by a raised laurel wreath design around the perimeter. The engraver's signature "Daniel Dupuis" is at 5 o'clock. The reverse lists in the central area the battle honours; six for the army issue and seven for the navy issue. This central area is surrounded by the inscription  TONKIN CHINE ANNAM 1883 - 1885. Again around the perimeter is the raised laurel wreath design.
Type Battle Honours
Army (6) Sontay, Bac-Ninh, Fou-Tcheou, Formose, Tuyen-Quan, Pescadores
Navy (7) Cau-Giai, Sontay, Bac-Ninh, Fou-Tcheou, Formose, Tuyen-Quan, Pescadores

Ribbon: yellow with four green stripes.

Original strikings have an olive shaped suspension ring fixing , on later issues this is ball shaped. Several private manufacturers also produced this medal these are generally lacking the designer's signature and Monnaie mark (see below)



medaille de l'expedition du tonkin de la chine et de l'annam



French Tonkin Medal 1883 - 1885

Reverse 1883 - 1885 Tonkin Medal, Army Type

Above: Tonkin medal army issue,
six battle honours on the reverse


Navy Type Revese Tonkin Medal

Above: Tonkin medal navy issue,
seven battle honours on the reverse.
" Cau-Giai " being the extra one.


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Above left; the official version has the manufacturer's  mark of a cornucopia - symbol for  'Monnaie of Paris ' (on the reverse at 6 o'clock.)  Above right: the engraver's signature Daniel Dupuis is also found on the obverse at 5 o'clock ( on the shoulder of la Republique)

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