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British South Africa Company's Medal: CM.1429-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Mint: Birmingham
Issuer: British South Africa Company
Artist: Caton Woodville, R.
Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901)
Ruler: Victoria regina (With the title of)
Mint: London




The British South Africa Company was established by Cecil Rhodes in an attempt to match the successes of the British East India Company from the base of the British Cape Colony (now South Africa) into the briefly-Portuguese territories to the north, an area soon known as Rhodesia. The Company, given a royal charter in 1889, recruited its own forces and from 1890 onwards significant engagements resulted in the award of this medal to those troops.
One of their opponents was Lobengula Kumalo, King of the Matabele, a Zulu people who had established a separate nation in the early nineteenth century. This nation became one of the BSAC's target territories and fear of the imminent colonisation led to attacks on Company territories in Bechuanaland (in the Cape Colony, now South Africa) in 1893 and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1896, the latter joined by an uprising of the Mashona people, whose province now lies in Zimbabwe and had been annexed in 1890.
This medal was issued to those who had participated in the campaign in Rhodesia, but the bar it bears shows that the recipient, Gunner T. Allison of the 24th West Division, Royal Artillery, went on to assist in the quelling of the Mashonaland rising for which, otherwise, he would have received a separate medal. Lester Watson purchased this one 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: 36.6 mm
Weight: 43.12 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

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


Production date: AD 1897

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Victoria facing left with veil

  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Lion with spear in chest leaping over African native wargear, brush behind

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1429-2009
Primary reference Number: 141523
Watson Catalogue: 341
Ordering: M-0312
Previous object number: LW.0312
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) "British South Africa Company's Medal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-21 13:33:34

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{{cite web|url= |title=British South Africa Company's Medal |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-21 13:33:34|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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