Posted 9 years ago
Here is a pair of medals impressed around the edge to Private W. Hill of the Scots Guards
The South African war (also called the Second Boer War or the Anglo-Boer War was fought from 1899 till 1902, spanning the end of Queen Victoria’s reign and the start of the reign of King Edward VII. It was fought between the British and two Boer republics, the Transvaal Republic and the Orange Free State. It ended with a British victory and the annexation of both republics by the British Empire.
There were 177,000 Queens South Africa (QSA) medals issued. In this, the first version of this medal, Britannia points her wreath at the letter R in Africa. Dies for the first version of the medal had the dates 1899-1900 on the reverse. As often happens, it turned out the war wasn’t “over by Christmas” and the dates were removed from the dies. Later versions of the medal would have Britannia pointing at the F.
Private Hill was awarded three clasps to his QSA. Two (Cape Colony and Transvaal) are considered “State clasps” awarded for service within those states for which no battle clasp is awarded. The third clasp, Witteburgen, was awarded for a series of engagements fought in the Orange Free State between the 1st and 29th of July 1900, when the Boers consolidated their forces in a horse shoe shaped area of the Wittebergen mountain range. Private hill’s name appears in italicized Roman font on the edge of the medal.
When Queen Victoria died, King Edward VII inherited a situation that had wound down into a guerilla war, and there were no clasps created for major engagements. The King’s South Africa (KSA) Medal was issued for those who served in South Africa after 1 January 1900 and completed 18 months service before 1 June 1902. The 18 month requirement was not continuous, but the soldier did have to serve at least part of 1902 to receive the medal. It was never issued alone, and always paired with the QSA. Private hill’s name correctly appears in Sans Sarif font on the edge of the medal.
I’ve also added a sterioview of British Cavalrymen advancing on Pretoria, copyright 1900. They look as shaggy as the Boers!