From the roll pages for the Mount Currie Reserves, AG2/M/15427, 37 medals were issued to the unit on 11 September 1905. Taking into account returns, I believe the nett issue to be 22 medals. The CC clasp is listed for men on the first two pages of the roll but, in keeping with other
units in the East Griqualand Field Force,
no clasp QSAs were issued.
Not surprisingly, the medals are scarce on the market. The only one I seen was from Spink in July 2019, QSA (1) Cape Colony (Tpr: W. Simpson. Mt: Currie Res:). He was issued with his medal 25 April 1911. It is not clear how he earned his Cape Colony clasp and it may well be a later addition as the lugs at to the top of the clasp show signs of prior use as they are larger than unused lugs.
The territory of Griqualand East was located south of the Colony of Natal, between the Drakensberge and Pondoland. Despite being well watered, fertile and richly grassed, by the 1850s it was largely uninhabited, probably as a result of the Mfecane wars of 1822-1836. Consequently during the colonial era it was also commonly referred to as "no man's land".
In March 1861 Faku, paramount chief of the amaPondo, ceded the territory to the British. They, in their turn, gave it over the following year to the Griqua, a Khoikhoi group who, under the leadership of Adam Kok, were in the process of migrating from their ancestral lands in the northern Cape. Although the Griqua were granted full title to the land and total autonomy of government, in 1869 Adam Kok requested that the territory be annexed by the British, with the specific stipulation that it should not be brought under the direct rule of Natal. Accordingly Griqualand was taken over in 1874, and although the Act of Annexation was passed by the Cape Parliament in 1877, it was not promulgated until 17 September 1879.
The territory was originally divided into four magisterial districts centred at Matatiele, Mount Frere, Umzimkulu and Kokstad, later renamed Mount Currie. Throughout the 1870s Griqualand East and its surrounding territories were the object of competing tribal interests and complex political alliances. As a result the British found it difficult to implement effective colonial rule over the region until the remainder of Pondoland was also brought under their control. The lands of the amaXesibe, centered at Mount Ayliff, were brought under their administration in 1878, but were not annexed to the Cape Colony until 25 October 1886. In 1886 a small pocket of land called the Rode Valley was purchased from the amaMpondo chief Umquikela, and was added to Mount Ayliff by Act No 45 of 1887, which was confirmed on 15 September 1888. The annexation of Pondoland to the Cape was completed under Act No 5 of 1894, provisions of which also ceded a portion of western Pondoland to Griqualand East. As a result of this transfer the divisions of Mount Fletcher, Qumbu, Tsolo and Maclear were brought under its administration. Although most of the territory was given over to Griqua ownership in 1862, the Griqua themselves were in a minority and soon began to sell their properties to both European settlers and amaPondo farmers, who were both beginning to prosper there.
The following population figures for 1891 and 1904:
Division of Maclear .............. 3 901... 6,222
Division of Matatiele ............ 18,411...33,840
Division of Mount Ayliff ........ 12,025...16,911
Division of Mount Currie ........ 7,373...12,328
Division of Mount Fletcher ... 13,862...24,311
Division of Mount Frere ........ 23,089...33,025
Division of Qumbu ............... 23,368...31,343
Division of Tsolo ................... 24 108...31,671
Division of Umzimkulu ......... 26 481...33,033