Skip to main content

Hong Kong Plague Medal: CM.1237-2009

An image of Hong Kong Plague Medal

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Mint: London
Die-engraver: Wyon, Allan
Artist: Boucher, Frank




The island of Hong Kong, a British possession since the end of the First Anglo-Chinese War, fell victim in 1894 to a wave of bubonic plague which was sweeping China. The crowded settlement was a closed zone for five months.
During this time three hundred men of the Shropshire Light Infantry and various other military and naval personnel were also caught on the island. The work they did in maintaining order and assisting the medical effort was acknowledged by the Governor of the colony with this medal. As it is not a Service medal, it could not be worn in uniform.
This piece went to Private G. Taplin of the Shropshires; he had to have the engraving of his name corrected. Lester Watson purchased the medal at some point before 1928.


History note: Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, bt before 1928

Legal notes

Given by Lester Watson through Cambridge in America, 2009

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 36 mm
Weight: 28.49 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

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


Production date: AD 1894


Name corrected (engraved)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Doctor warding off flying figure of Death from Chinese patient on table, attended by nurse; `1894' on scroll in exergue

  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Inscriptions with border between

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1237-2009
Primary reference Number: 141331
Watson Catalogue: 135
Ordering: M-0120
Previous object number: LW.0120
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 15 January 2024 Last processed: Monday 15 January 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Hong Kong Plague Medal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-25 05:08:37

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Hong Kong Plague Medal |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-25 05:08:37|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Hong Kong Plague Medal"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Hong Kong Plague Medal</figcaption>

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...