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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #7008

  • munroe
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Dear All

The bottom line is that I actaully have a blank bronze QSA. This was purchased locally and is in worn condition. So the fact that these were issued in South Africa is confirmed. Pity we do not know who it was to.

Now I raise another point, I have in my stuff a QSA to a Pte in the Matatiele "something", I need to look for it and see exactly what the unit is but I am sure its not European Reserves. This was bought together with 2 ww2 medal named to a native but with the same name on the QSA. When I did the research this was clearly a black man. This means that the QSA is also to a black man. In this area I am told that the names of the locals are the same as europeans so hence I beleive that here was a mistake. These men should either not have received medals or if they did it should have been the bronze QSA but they have been issued with a silver QSA.

The plot thickens. I suspect that all these Black men in this unit received silver QSA's

I will have to dig it out and check the exact details on the rim.

Kind regards

Munroe

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #7011

  • David Grant
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A silver QSA to Constable J Mbongwe, DMP is known
Looking for Salutries, Salootries and Veterinary Duffadars.
I collect primarily QSAs to Indian Recipients.

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #7012

  • Brett Hendey
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Hi Munroe

The Matatiele 'mistake' is entirely plausible and adds interest to the medals concerned.

South Africa's social engineering experiments have been responsible for many anomalies and surprises. I have a SA Medal with 1877-78 clasp to a man in a unit from the Queenstown district. He was a Sergeant Minto and I initially assumed he belonged to the well-known (white) Minto family in the Eastern Cape. However, it later became clear that he was black and that it was not unusual for such name adoptions to take place, even without any miscegenation having occurred.

Regards
Brett

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #7013

  • Brett Hendey
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David

Thank you for posting those dates. I responded earlier but, when I came to post the reply, the site had gone off-line (or I did something stupid). I will redo my reply and post it later.

Regards
Brett

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #7014

  • Brett Hendey
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David

The note below is premature as the situation will only be clarified once the relevant documents in the PMBurg Archives have been copied and studied. However, I thought it worth adding at this stage in order to keep the matter of bronze QSA's as a "Recent Topic" a bit longer.

Regards
Brett

BRONZE QSA’s – CHRONOLOGY
National Archives, Kew - 1901/1902
20/12/1901 - “I am directed by the Secretary of State for War to acquaint you that 100 000 Bronze Medals, without clasps, will shortly be despatched to you for presentation.”
June ?1902 - “Referring to yr telegram 21st June 10 000 bronze have been despatched 13th June.”
1/12/1902 - “A memorandum has been received from Woolwich today intimating that the proposed shipment has been cancelled.”
11/12/1902 - “If it be decided that these people are not to receive the bronze medal, but only a few specially selected.”

SA National Archives - Pietermaritzburg Repository - 1903/1905
(In the order in which they appear on the website.)

1903 (not yet copied) - [Natal] Agent General, London: RMS ‘Kildonan Castle’: Medals.
(Not necessarily referring to bronze QSA’s, but likely in view of the subsequent reference in April 1903 to “2000 bronze medals” [see below]).

1903/1904 (not yet copied) - Secretary for Native Affairs, Pietermaritzburg:- Distribution of war medals to various Natives who have served as Scouts in the Intelligence Department during the late Anglo Boer War.
1903/1905 (not yet copied) - Re: Native Scouts Medals.
1903/1905 (not yet copied) - R C Samuelson, Pietermaritzburg re Native Scout Medals.

1904 (not yet copied) - Under SNA, PMBurg War Medals: Complaint by a Native Scout in an article appearing in the “iPepa Lo Hlanga” dated 11th March 1904, of non receipt of same.
1904 (already copied) - Chief Staff Officer, Natal, PMBurg:- War: Medals for Native Scouts. J F Ingram forwards letter from ex Chief Native Scout J Gumede.
It was this file that included a note from the Chief Staff Officer to the Secretary of Native Affairs as follows:
“Passed to you as the supply of 2000 bronze medals were sent to you on 9 April 1903 for distribution.”
1904 (not yet copied) - Under Secretary for Native Affairs, Pietermaritzburg:- Medals: Extract from “iPepa Lo Hlanga” . Complaint by a Native Scout and suggestion that a deputation be sent to the Secretary for Native Affairs on the matter.
There are other files that less certainly refer to bronze QSA’s.

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #7015

  • Brett Hendey
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Some weird things happened to the line spacing in the preceding note. I blame our computer, which has as its main mission to irritate me. I hope the sense of the note is still clear.

Brett

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