Circular silver medal with claw and swivel ribbon bar suspension, with ‘CAPE COLONY’, ‘ORANGE FREE STATE’, ‘TRANSVAAL’, ‘SOUTH AFRICA 1901’ and ‘SOUTH AFRICA 1902’ clasps, the last two joined together but loose on the ribbon; the face with the veiled crowned head and shoulders portrait of Queen Victoria facing left, circumscribed ‘VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX’ (Victoria Queen and Empress), signed ‘G. W. de Saulles’ (for George William de Saulles, 1862-1903, Chief Engraver to the Royal Mint); 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, signed ‘G. W. de Saulles’; attributed on the edge to ‘4664 PTE W. BUSH. 1ST RL: DRAGOONS’; on replaced correct ribbon.
The Medal was instituted in 1899 to be awarded to participants in the Boer War. 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; the Transvaal clasp for service in that province between 24 May 1900 and 31 May 1902; the South Africa 1901 clasp for front-line service during 1901; the South Africa 1902 clasp for front-line service between 1 January 1902 and 31 May 1902. The latter two clasps were not awarded to those who were eligible for the King’s South Africa Medal but since the qualification for the K.S.A. Medal was for front-line service during 1902 plus a minimum of 18 months’ total service in South Africa (thus implying service since December 1900), the majority of those who fought in 1902 did not qualify for the K.S.A. Medal and thus received the Q.S.A. Medal with clasp(s), as in this good example.
Private Walter Bush, a checker from Rochester, Kent, joined the 1st Royal Dragoons on 5 March 1900 aged 18 years and 4 months. He was in South Africa from 7 December 1900 until 25 September 1902 and was discharged on 20 November 1903 on payment of £18. Sold with copies of his attestation and discharge papers and of the medal rolls showing entitlement to the medal and all five clasps.