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East and West Africa Medal (1887-1900): CM.1454-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Mint: London
Artist: Wyon, Leonard Charles
Artist: Poynter, Edward John
Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901)
Ruler: Victoria regina (With the title of)




Peace-keeping operations in the British possessions in Africa, as anywhere else, required a large number of small campaigns, several of which, from 1892 until 1900, were considered to merit this medal, which in terms of design is a continuation of the Ashantee Medal. Eligible recipients of that medal were therefore awarded only extra clasps.
The coastal strip of what is now Kenya was in the 1880s part of a territory of the Sultan of Zanzibar known as Zanj. Its extent was settled by German and British treaty in 1886, but in 1890 the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty saw German interests in the area ceded wholly to Britain, and Zanzibar became a British protectorate that year. The Zanj was thereafter subsumed into the administration of British East Africa, which would later become modern Kenya.
Until the opening of rail links, trade in this area had to be carried out by caravan, which was frequently subject to raiding by tribes from further inland. One such tribe was that of Chief Rashid of M'wele, and a quantity of British forces were occupied in suppressing his efforts between 1895 and 1896.
The medal for this campaign is almost unique among British campaign medals as, although it is of the regular East & West Africa type, no bar was issued. Instead the campaign's identity was engraved at the top of the rim. This makes the medal impossible to distinguish from the Ashantee Medal when worn.
This medal was awarded to Sepoy Samandar Khan of the 24th Bombay Infantry. 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: 36.3 mm
Weight: 34.7 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 with veil

  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Scene of bush fighting around tree with fallen African to fore

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1454-2009
Primary reference Number: 141548
Watson Catalogue: 377
Ordering: M-0337
Previous object number: LW.0337
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) "East and West Africa Medal (1887-1900)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-18 12:20:56

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