Queen's South Africa Medal



British military medals were granted to troops serving in specific campaigns. The Queen's South Africa Medal was presented to British, Imperial and Colonial troops serving in the Boer War. Individual campaigns were recognized by the use of a bar to be worn on the ribbon of the medal. In the case of the Boer War, there were 26 separate bars issued including bars for the Defence of Mafeking (13th October, 1899 -- 17th May, 1900), and the Relief of Mafeking (17th May, 1900).


Three examples of the Queen's South Africa Medal
After L. L. Gordon, British Battles and Medals, 5th Edition, 1979

Defence of Mafeking (13th October, 1899 - 17th May, 1900)

     Issued to all troops in the garrison of Mafeking between 13th October, 1899 and 17th May, 1900 both dates inclusive. Approx. 1,300 present although some were unclaimed making a nett figure of approx. 1,150 issued.
     Regiments present: South African Constabulary (14); Mafeking Town Guard (513); Mafeking Railway Vols. (26); Mafeking Cadet Corps (38); Protectorate Regiment Frontier Force (424); Bechuanaland Rifles (125);Cape Police District No. 1 (43); Cape Police District No. 2 (54); Special Police Contingent, Mafeking (5); B.S.A. Police B.P. Division (92); 1st Life Guards (1); Barkly West Town Guard (2); Border Horse (1); Border Scouts (1); 1 Brabant's Horse (1); 2 Brabant's Horse (2); Bushveld Carbineers (1); Cape Medical Staff Corps (4); Colonial Defence Force (1); Commander-in-Chief's Bodyguard (9); Diamond Fields Artillery (2); Driscoll's Scouts (4); 2nd Duke of Edinburgh's Own Rifles (1); French's Scouts (1); Gorringe's Flying Column (2); 1st Imperial Light Horse (1); Imperial Military Railway (2); Johannesburg Mounted Rifles (1); Kaffrarian Rifles (2); Kimberley Volunteer Regiment (7); 1st Kitchener's Fighting Scouts (3); Marshall's Horse (1); Nesbitt's Horse (3); Prince Alfred's Own Cape Artillery (1); Queenstown Rifle Volunteers (1); Railway Pioneer Regiment (2); Robert's Horse (2); Scoutt's Railway Guards (1); Steinaccker's Horse (6); Transkei Mounted Rifles (1); Vryburg Town Guard (5); Western Province Mounted Rifles (2).
     Queen Victoria personally presented Mother Mary Joseph with the Royal Red Cross for her devoted work during the siege.

From: L. L. Gordon, British Battles and Medals, 5th Edition, 1979


K. R. Gibbs provides background notes on some of the actions for which the Queen's South Africa Medal was awarded in "Bars and Medals" from the Military History Journal of the South African Military History Society, Volume 2, Number 3, June, 1973. 
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, provided an excellent contemporary account of The siege of Mafeking in The Great Boer War: A Two-Years' Record, 1899-1901
Sir Robert Baden-Powell
Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell
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