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The Queen's South Africa Medal

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Designer: G W de Saulles

During the years 1899-1902 Britain was fighting the Boer War in South Africa. At the quarterly Court meeting held on 9th January 1900 at the Albion Tavern, Aldersgate Street, a letter from the Lord Mayor dated 27th December 1899 was read. In it support was sought from the City Companies for the raising of a regiment of 1000 men to be called the City of London Imperial Volunteers for active service in South Africa. The Court agreed, along with most if not all of the other City Companies, that a donation be made to the Lord Mayor's Fund for the Imperial Volunteers. The regiment was duly raised and served with distinction in South Africa.

The Government was more than happy for the cost of raising and equipping the regiment to be met largely by the City and decided, unusually, that the campaign medal be awarded to the City Companies who had helped finance the regiment. In a letter dated 30th August 1901 the War Office wrote "..... on the recommendation of Field Marshall Earl Roberts, Commander-in-Chief, His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve the presentation of the South Africa War Medal to the Worshipful Company of Bowyers in commemoration of the spontaneous and patriotic liberality shown by that and other City Companies in assisting to raise and equip the City of London Imperial Volunteers for active service in South Africa. I have accordingly now the pleasure of forwarding a South African Medal for acceptance by your Company, the clasps attached to the medal being those earned by the City of London Imperial Volunteers during the War."

N.B. The seven clasps awarded were:
BELFAST 26-27 August 1900
WITTEBERGEN 1-29 July 1900
DIAMOND HILL 11-12 June 1900
DRIEFONTEIN 10 March 1900
PAARDEBERG 17-26 February 1900
CAPE COLONY 11 October 1899 - 31 May 1902

This campaign medal is unusual in that it shows the head of Queen Victoria who died in January 1901 while the war was still in progress.

Reference: War Office Letter: 56/South Africa/3100 (AG2) dated 30 Aug 1901.

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