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Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal: CM.1162-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Mint: London
Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901)
Artist: Saulles, George W. de
Ruler: Victoria regina et imperatrix (With the title of)




The British colony on the Cape of Good Hope, now part of South Africa, was run by an independent administration with its own armed forces. Various risings by the African peoples of their territory resulted in a number of military actions which were thought to merit a medal for these troops, of which this was the second. The first had been the South Africa Medal for the campaign that brought the Basotho tribes under the governance of the Cape Colony.
The bars for Basutoland (now in Lesotho) and Transkei (now in South Africa) were awarded to participants in either of two campaigns against Chief Lerothodi, who had inherited the mantle of Basotho resistance to the encroachment of British rule from Moirosi, defeated in 1879.
This medal was awarded to Gunner J. Adams of the Cape Field Artillery; his name is listed in the Roll of recipients. Lester Watson bought it in the auction of the Hamilton Smith Collection, of which it may have formed part, in 1927 (Glendining, 21-22 Nov 1927).


History note: Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, Hamilton Smith auction (Glendining, 21-22 Nov 1927)

Legal notes

Given by Lester Watson through Cambridge in America, 2009

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 36.4 mm
Weight: 41.69 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2009) by Watson, Lester


Production date: AD 1900

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Victoria facing left

  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Horse and antelope above floriate ornament, supporting either side of coat of arms couped with three rosettes chief and lion rampant base

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1162-2009
Primary reference Number: 141256
Watson Catalogue: 48
Ordering: M-0045
Previous object number: LW.0045
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Saturday 22 January 2022 Last processed: Sunday 23 January 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Coins and Medals

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-01-27 03:07:21

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{{cite web|url= |title=Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-01-27 03:07:21|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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