Friday, 12 December 2014

The QSA and other medals

The Second Anglo-Boer War was at the end of the Victorian era - Queen Victoria died in January 1901 while the war raged on, but militarily the war is lynch-pin, a bridge between "old" and "new" warfare. The military lessons of the war spawned the British Expeditionary Force of 1914, that "contemptible little army" whose skill at arms fooled the Germans into thinking they faced machine guns when it was simply rapid rifle fire.

This link is also reflected in the amount of campaign medals one sees associated with the Queen's South Africa medal (QSA). You can read more about the QSA and King's South Africa medal here.

The QSA can be found with an astonishing 242 other medals: orders, decorations, campaign medals, civilian and foreign awards. This number will increase as I add more information to The Register.

The earliest campaign is the Indian Mutiny (1857-1858), Field Marshal Lord Roberts is one man to hold the Mutiny medal and the QSA. Every campaign medal up to 1945 is represented, except: Hunza Nagar Badge 1891 and from WWII: Atlantic Star, Pacific Star and Burma Star. I did know of a group with a QSA and Pacific Star to a man from a South African colonial regiment who died a POW in Hong Kong (should have bought it).

The next task is to identify the clasps on the campaign medals paired with the QSA. I have been doing some work on the Chin Hills 1892-93 clasp on the India General Service Medal 1854-1895. The Norfolk Regiment were the only British Army troops present, and only 200, so in itself it is a rare medal. Of those 200 only 67 served in the war the combination with a QSA even rarer.

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