Sunday, 20 September 2015

Defence & Relief: The Clasp Combinations for the sieges

There were four main sieges during the war, and a host of lesser known sieges. The three main sieges were:

Kimberley - 14th October, 1899 to 15th February, 1900
Ladysmith -  3rd November, 1899 to 28th February, 1900
Mafeking - 13th October, 1899 to 17th May, 1900
Wepener  - 9th April, 1900 to 25th April, 1900

Clasps were issued for the defence and relief of each of these sieges which are popular amongst collectors. Another angle is that of collecting defence and relief combinations and double relief combinations. From the data collected for The Register these are the available combinations and known medals to date are:

Defence of Kimberley - Relief of Mafeking    : 142 (420 - Kaplan)
Defence of Ladysmith - Relief of Mafeking    :   25 (33 - Kaplan)
Relief of Ladysmith    - Relief of Mafeking     : 120 (209 - Kaplan)
Relief of Kimberley    - Relief of Mafeking     :     6
Relief of Kimberley    - Relief of Ladysmith    :    1
Relief of Kimberley    - (Defence of) Wepener :    3
Relief of Ladysmith    - (Relief of Wepener)     :   1 (no clasp issued for the relief of Wepener.)

There are no "double defence" combinations.

"Kaplan" refers to "The Medal Roll of the Queen's South Africa Medal with Bar Relief of Mafeking, 1980". Interestingly he did not find the three rarest combinations.

As more clasp data is input into The Register these figures are likely to increase, but I believe the relative scarcity of each combination will remain.

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