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Natal Medal: CM.1348-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Mint: London
Manufacturer: Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co.
Ruler: Edward VII (1901-10)
Ruler: Edwardvs VII rex imperator (With the title of)




The British Colony of Natal was founded in 1843 on territory acquired from the Boer Republic of Natalia in the First Boer War, but expanded substantially by the annexation to it of Zululand after the Anglo-Zulu War of 1893. This situation left considerable resentment of British rule, worsened by a time of cattle disease and poor harvests and manifested especially in a consequent refusal to pay hut-taxes. When in 1906 attempt to enforce such payments resulted in the killings of two Natal policemen, the local government raised forces for a punitive `drive' which imprisoned three chiefs.
From this perhaps heavy-handed treatment resulted a far larger insurrection, and troops were raised by various emergency means both locally and abroad. Among these rapidly-formed units was a group of volunteers from the local Lancaster and York Association, and the Natal Indian Congress raised a unit of stretcher-bearers that included one Sergeant-Major Mahatma Gandhi.
The assembled forces proved more than capable of meeting the threat and a `drive' through the Natal forests achieved the retreat and finally surrender of the rebel chiefs. This medal was awarded to Private W. Patter, of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Contingent formed by the Association mentioned above. It bears, as do almost all these medals, a bar that was awarded to those doing more than fifty days' service on the campaign. 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: 36.2 mm
Weight: 39.6 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

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


Production date: AD 1907

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Edward facing right

  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Britannia with orb and figurine of Peace treating with Natalia who holds a sword, kraal and natives in background

  • Text: NATAL
  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1348-2009
Primary reference Number: 141442
Watson Catalogue: 254
Ordering: M-0231
Previous object number: LW.0231
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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Natal Medal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-16 11:35:28

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