Boer War and Great War Miniature Group of Four
Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899-1902 with Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Belfast clasps. Miniature circular silver medal with claw and swivel ribbon bar suspension, with ‘CAPE COLONY’, ‘ORANGE FREE STATE’ and ‘BELFAST’ clasps; the face with the veiled crowned head and shoulders portrait of Queen Victoria facing left, circumscribed ‘VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX’ (Victoria Queen and Empress); the reverse with the full-length helmeted figure of Britannia, a standard in her left hand, her right arm extended with a laurel wreath, her shield and trident on the ground behind her, soldiers marching in a landscape beyond, warships near the coast beyond, circumscribed above ‘SOUTH AFRICA’; diameter 17.55mm (0.69 inch).
The Medal was instituted in 1899 and authorised in April 1901 to be awarded to participants in military operations in South Africa (the second Boer War) after 11 October 1899.
The Cape Colony clasp was awarded for service in the Cape between 11 October 1899 and 31 May 1902, the Orange Free State clasp for service in the Orange River Colony between 28 February 1900 and 31 May 1902 and the Belfast clasp for the battle of Bergendal to those who were east of Wonderfontein, west of Dalmanutha Station and north of Carolina (Transvaal).
King’s South Africa Medal 1901-1902 with South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902 clasps. Miniature circular silver medal with claw and swivel ribbon bar suspension with ‘SOUTH AFRICA 1901’ and ‘SOUTH AFRICA 1902’ clasps; the face with the head and shoulders portrait of King Edward VII facing left, circumscribed ‘EDWARDUS VII REX IMPERATOR’ (Edward VII King Emperor); the reverse with the full-length helmeted figure of Britannia, a standard in her left hand, her right arm extended with a laurel wreath, her shield and trident on the ground behind her, soldiers marching in a landscape beyond, warships near the coast beyond; diameter 17. 95mm (0.69 inch).
The Medal was instituted in 1902 to replace the Queen’s South Africa Medal bearing the image of Queen Victoria following her death on 22 January 1901 to be awarded to participants in the Boer War present in South Africa after 1 January 1901 and who served there for at least 18 months before 1 June 1902.
British War Medal 1914-1920. Miniature circular silver medal with claw and ribbon bar suspension; the face with the head of King George V facing left, circumscribed ‘GEORGIVS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND : IMP:’ (George V King of Great Britain and Emperor of India); the reverse with St. George on horseback, reins in his left hand, a sword in his right, trampling a shield bearing an eagle with wings outstretched and a skull and crossbones, wavy lines denoting the sea beyond, a radiant rising sun upper right, dated ‘1914’ and ‘1918’ upper left and right respectively; diameter 17.63mm (0.69 inch).
The Medal was instituted in 1919 and awarded to members of the British and Imperial forces who had served between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Officers and men of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, and Dominion and Colonial naval forces were required to have completed 28 days mobilised service, though this was waived if active service had been terminated by death. The award criteria were subsequently extended to include post-war mine-clearing at sea and service in operations in Russia in 1919-20.
Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Great Britain and British Empire issue, 1914-1919 with Mentioned in Despatches oak leaf. Miniature circular gilt bronze medal on laterally pierced loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a winged figure of Victory; the reverse inscribed ‘THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION 1914-1919’ within a circular laurel wreath; diameter 17.91mm (0.71 inch); with bronze Mentioned in Despatches oak leaf on the ribbon.
The idea of an inter-allied medal to commemorate victory in what was termed ‘The Great War for Civilisation’ is credited to the French Field-Marshal Foch. It was agreed that each of the Allies should issue a medal to their nationals featuring a figure representing ‘Victory’ on the front and have a symmetric double rainbow ribbon with red, the colour of courage and sacrifice at the centre, representing the colours of the allies flags and presenting an allegory of calm after storm.
The British medal was instituted on 1 September 1919 to be awarded to all those who served in a theatre of operations between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. It was awarded also to all British Empire military, except those of South Africa, whose government issued their own variant. Additionally, it was awarded to those British servicemen active in the Hejaz and Aden after the end of the European war, for post-war mine clearance operations and for the Royal Navy mission to Russia, hence the latter date of 1919.
The Group is on its original court mounting with pin for wear, with maker’s mark of Spink & Son Ltd., 17 & 18 Piccadilly, London W. to the reverse.