British and Colonial

Cape Copper Company Medal for the Defence of O’okiep

This medal was issued by the Cape Copper Company to those who took part in the defence of O'okiep.

On the obverse is a miner standing with his legs crossed, holding a shovel in his right hand, with his left resting on a small four-wheeled mine truck. In the background is a hill, the sun rising behind the hill.  Around the perimeter is the inscription `THE CAPE COPPER COMPANY LIMITED'. In the centre, at the bottom, is the date `1888'.

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Obverse
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Reverse
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Example of naming
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Siler medal awarded to Dr R.N.Howard. Bonhams Oct 13

The reverse carries 13 lines of capital lettering:

 

Presented
To the
Officers
Non commissioned officers
And men
Of the garrison of O’okiep
In recognition of their
Gallant defence of the town
Under
Lt Col Shelton DSO
Against a greatly superior
Force of Boers
April 4th to May 4th 1902

 

The medal is 36.5mm in diameter and was issued in silver and bronze.  The ribbon is 37.5mm wide and is dark brown with a central green stripe, 12.5mm wide.

The medal was awarded in silver to officers and in bronze to other ranks.  In Forsyth's roll, eighteen recipients of the silver medal are listed including one to Pay Sgt H Rodda (see below), the only other rank to receive a silver medal.  The roll indicates that 537 men qualified for the bronze medal.

It is possible that medals were only awarded to Company employees in the Namaqualand Town Guard and O'okiep Volunteers.  However a silver medal to Captain A Borcherds, Cape Garrison Artillery, is known to exist.

Medal roll

Forsyth, D R, The Cape Copper Company Limited Medal for the Defence of O'okiep 4th April to 4th May 1902 (Johannesburg: author, 1986)

Example awards

Cape Copper Company Medal for the Defence of O'okiep, silver issue, unnamed or erased.  Spink Apr 09

QSA (0) (60 PM Sgt H Rodda Nam TG), Cape Copper Company Medal for the Defence of O'okiep, silver issue (H Rhodda).  Rhodda was the paymaster for the O’okiep Copper Company and it was presumably due to the important and senior status of his employment that he was entitled to, and received, the silver issue of the O’okiep medal.  Harry Rodda is shown in a group photograph of a cricket team in O’okiep in 1890 and was obviously a longstanding resident and employee of the mine.  His father was employed as one of the first mine captains. Lieutenant Joseph Burrows, who was destined to later also qualify for and receive the silver O’okiep medal is also shown in this photograph.  The silver issue of the O’okiep Copper Company medal is a rarity with a total of only 10 such awards known to exist.  Only five examples of the silver O’okiep medal paired with a QSA medal, including this pair to Pay Master Rodda, are known to exist.  City Coins Sep 03.

Cape Copper Company Medal for the Defence of O'okiep, bronze issue (D. Magerman).  Kaplan Nov 08.

Cape Copper Company Medal for the Defence of O'okiep, silver issue (H Willman).  Kaplan Feb 04.

Cape Copper Company Medal for the Defence of O'okiep, bronze issue (E. Tappe).  772 Private E. Tappe is confirmed on the roll of the Namaqualand Town Guard as having been engaged with the enemy at O’okiep.  He would also have been entitled to the Queen’s South Africa medal named to that unit.  DNW Jun 08 £1,800.

Cape Copper Company Medal for the Defence of O’okiep, bronze (G. Mapoli).  Private G Mapoli is confirmed on the roll of the Namaqualand Town Guard as being engaged with the enemy at O’okiep.  DNW Dec 99 £580.

See also the Namaqualand Town Guard and O'okiep Volunteers pages for awards of the Cape Copper Company Medal and QSA.

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