Circular oxidised silver medal with swivel oval loop suspension; the face with a circular central medallion, a seated mural-crowned female figure allegorical of Spain to the right, her right arm outstretched offering a laurel wreath to two warships and a submarine at sea to the left, a scroll at the base inscribed ‘AL MÉRITO EN CAMPAÑA’ (for Merit in Campaign) within a wreath of oak and laurel, with lion rampant supporters to either side; the reverse with a circular central medallion with a stippled ground bearing a royal-crowned oval shield party per pale with the castle of Castile on a vertically hatched ground for the heraldic colour gules (red) and the lion of Léon on a plain ground for the heraldic colour argent (white), the shield imposed on crossed naval anchors within a wreath of oak and laurel, with lion rampant supporters to either side, a scroll below; diameter 40.6mm (1.6 inches); on a replaced ribbon without blue edges and with gilt pasador top bar mounted for wear; in a pasteboard box by Establemientos Flandez S.L. of Madrid (we do not know for certain if this is the box of issue).
The Medal was instituted on 1 July 1918 to be awarded only for heroic acts in the face of the enemy. In 1931 the Republican government changed the reverse, replacing the royal crown with a mural crown.
A further change was made in 1938 by the Franco government, the mural crown being replaced by the civic crown.
The design of this medal is that of the royal period from 1918 to 1931. However, examples of that period usually have a flat rather than stippled ground to the medallion of the reverse and the diameter is slightly smaller.
We are grateful to a noted Spanish collector for his opinion on this medal that it is original but likely manufactured after the Civil War for Flandez in the 1950s or 1960s.
The medal is rare.