South Africa Campaign Medals


Queen's South Africa Medal:

DATE: 1899

CAMPAIGN: Anglo-Boer War of 1899 to 1902


A silver or bronze medal of 36 mm diameter. The obverse face has the jubilee bust of Queen Victoria and on the reverse face, Britannia holding the flag and laurel crown towards a large group of soldiers. In the background, warships are seen offshore. The words SOUTH AFRICA are inscribed around the top. 


British and Imperial forces. Due to the fact that such a large number of troops from British and Imperial forces were involved and also the numerous actions, which lead to the number of battle and campaign clasps, this is a very popular and well studied award. A total of 178,000 medals were awarded. Numerous specialist units were involved for the first time, also locally raised units. Contingents from India, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were also involved. From a collectors point of view, medals issued to war correspondents and nurses are of interest, although the medals awarded to nurses, they were not issued with clasps. A small number of bronze medals were issued to bearers and servants in Indian units.
The original issue of the medal had Britannia's outstretched hand pointing towards the R of Africa and bears the dates 1899-1900. Less than 70 of these were issued to Lord Strathcona's Horse who had returned to Canada before the war ended. As the war continued the date was removed before any more medals were issued. Some medals can be found with a faint ghost of the date on them. With the third issue, the reverse still has no date, but Britannia's hand now points towards the F.


There are 26 authorised clasps for this medal, but the maximum recorded for a single individual are 9 to the Army and 8 to the Navy.

Cape Colony


Relief of Mafeking

Defence of Kimberley



Defence of Ladysmith


Modder river

Tugela Heights


Relief of Kimberley


Orange Free State

Relief of Ladysmith



Defence of Mafeking



Laing's Nek

Diamond Hill



South Africa 1901

South Africa 1902






The ribbon is red with two narrow blue stripes and a wide central orange band.


King's South Africa Medal:

DATE: 1902.

CAMPAIGN: South Africa 1901-02


Silver medal, 36mm in diameter. The obverse face has the bust of King Edward VII in field marshal's uniform, the reverse is as the Queen's South Africa medal.


Awarded to British and Imperial forces. This medal was never issued without the Queen's medal. It was awarded to all personnel engaged in operations in South Africa during 1901-02 even though fighting was actually restricted to skirmishes with guerrilla bands. Very few medals were awarded to Royal Navy personnel as the naval brigades had been disbanded in 1901. This medal was awarded with two campaign clasps the majority of issue being with both, only a few were issued with single clasps and these are very rare. Of the 600 that were issued to nurses these had no clasps like the Queen's medal.


Two clasps one for 1901 and one for 1902.


Three equal stripes of green, white and orange.


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