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Queen's South Africa Medal (second striking): CM.1415-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage

Maker(s)

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

Entities

Categories

Description

During the 1830s and 1840s several Dutch republics had been established outside the British Cape Colony in South Africa, among which were Transvaal and the Orange Free State, all now in modern South Africa. Transvaal was annexed briefly by the British but its independence re-established in the First Boer War.
In the 1880s however the discovery of vast gold reserves in Transvaal brought large numbers of foreign settlers, largely British, across the border, and an attempted coup at the instigation of Cecil Rhodes in 1895. Military escalation followed, negotiations failed and the two Boer republics, convinced that the British intended annexation, declared war in the Cape Colony in October 1899.
The immediate result was the siege of British troops in Ladysmith, Mafeking and Kimberley, while field forces attempting to come to their relief were defeated in several open battles by Boer contingents. Kimberley, the first town to be relieved, could open its gates only in mid-February; Mafeking, famously, had to hold out until May. By now Boer resistance in the field was more or less defeated but their forces maintained a bitter and obdurate guerilla campaign in several areas of the two Republics until mid-1902, when a surrender was finally agreed.
The earliest issues of the medal indicate that the War was not expected to last as long as it did, as they bear the dates 1899-1900 in the reverse field. Very few were issued in this state, but a large number of the first issues show signs of the dates' erasure, often as in this case insufficiently thorough.
This medal is inscribed to Corporal J. Farrell of the Liverpool Regiment. This presents the historian with some problems, as regimental rolls appear to testify that Farrell arrived with his 4th Battalion well into the war, after Mafeking had been relieved, and received a medal not with this clasp but with those for Cape Colony, Transvaal and South Africa 1902. Possibly therefore this medal was at some point in its history retooled with the bar bearing the famous name of Mafeking to increase its value, although in fact Farrell's original medal would probably now have fetched more at sale. Lester Watson purchased the medal as it is at some point before 1928.
The Museum must gratefully acknowledge the researches of Mr Anthony Jones into the Liverpool Regiment's medal rolls in pursuit of clarity about this and other medals.

Notes

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: 36.5 mm
Weight: 38.57 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

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

Dating

Production date: AD 1902

Materials used in production

Silver

Techniques used in production

Struck

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Victoria facing left with veil

  • Text: VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX
  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Britannia in foreground facing right holding standard and waving wreath over army marching along shore, with ships offshore in background

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1415-2009
Primary reference Number: 141509
Watson Catalogue: 327
Ordering: M-0298
Previous object number: LW.0298
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

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

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Queen's South Africa Medal (second striking)" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/141509 Accessed: 2023-02-06 23:41:50

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/141509 |title=Queen's South Africa Medal (second striking) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-02-06 23:41:50|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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