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Africa General Service Medal: CM.1486-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Mint: London
Ruler: Edward VII (1901-10)
Artist: Saulles, George W. de
Ruler: Edwardvs VII rex imperator (With the title of)




Numerous actions in the British-controlled parts of Africa were felt to merit the award of a medal, but not a distinct one for every action. The Africa General Service Medal replaced the East and West Africa Medal which had previously been awarded for service in this theatre. Bars were awarded for a variety of small campaigns, sometimes only one expedition and sometimes rather more complex operations.
The repeated uprisings in what is now Somalia led by Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, whom the British called `the Mad Mullah', were perceived as threats not just by the British Empire, but Italy and the Ethiopian Empire also. Operations were begun against Sayyid Mohammed and his army of so-called Dervishes in 1901 by forces of all three states, with only scant success. A campaign of 1902-1904 was more effective and drove Sayyid Mohammed and his followers into Majeerteen territory in what is now the north-east of Somalia and the north-west of Ethiopia. Here they were able to hold out, although renewed campaigning by the British in 1908-1910 caused a substantial portion of the Mullah's followers to desert him. He would nonetheless remain a thorn in the British and Ethiopian sides which could not be entirely removed until his death of influenza in 1921.
This medal was awarded to Able Bodied Seaman P. Redmond, who served aboard the 3rd-class cruiser HMS Proserpine in the 1908-1910 campaign. It is one of two medals that were awarded to him that are now in the Watson Collection; the other follows. The medals are not attached to each other so although the Watson Collection catalogue considers them as Group 4 they have been treated separately here. Nonetheless, it was as a group that Lester Watson purchased them from the London dealer Spink, in 1926.


History note: Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, bt Spink 1926

Legal notes

Given by Lester Watson through Cambridge in America, 2009

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 36.4 mm
Weight: 38.87 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

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


1902 - 1915

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Edward facing left

  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Britannia with lion gesturing right to sun on horizon

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1486-2009
Primary reference Number: 141582
Watson Catalogue: 23
Ordering: M-0371
Previous object number: LW.0362a
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Saturday 22 January 2022 Last processed: Tuesday 13 June 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Africa General Service Medal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-14 09:30:35

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{{cite web|url= |title=Africa General Service Medal |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-14 09:30:35|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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