Miniature circular cupro-nickel medal with scroll and fixed ribbon bar suspension; the face with the head of Queen Elizabeth II wearing the St. Edward Crown and facing right, circumscribed ‘ELIZABETH II DEI GRATA REGINA FID. DEF.’ (Elizabeth II by the Grace of God Queen, Defender of the Faith); the reverse with a sable antelope (hippotragus niger) side-on, facing left, dated ‘1980’ and circumscribed above ‘THE RHODESIA MEDAL’; diameter 19.16mm (0.75 inch); on original ribbon.
The Medal was instituted in 1980 to be awarded to British, Australian, New Zealand, Fijian and Kenyan forces for service of at least 14 days between 1 December 1979 and 20 March 1980 in the Commonwealth Multinational Force that oversaw the implementation of the Lancaster House Agreement between the Southern Rhodesian government and the forces of the Patriotic Front.
The first phase saw the gathering of more than twenty thousand guerrillas of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe National Liberation Army (ZANLA) and Joshua Nkomo’s Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) and soldiers of the Rhodesian Security Forces at sixteen assembly areas throughout the country. The second phase saw an election and independence as the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The numbers involved in the C.M.F. were small - 152 Australians and 74 New Zealanders, for example, and only approximately two thousand five hundred full-size medals were issued.