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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #6991

  • David Grant
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I am certain the vast majority were issued, if the recipient could be found, un-named. I think the general enthusiasm for issuing medals to recipients who were not really "present" and did not really "matter" was limited. Certainly the effort to track down people who were merely migrant labour must have been immense. The medal that I have seen was dismounted and found in a tray of coins in Kalk Bay.It is named to a casualty who was mentioned in despatches and whose funeral was attended by BP. May be more reasons to name than the vast majority. He also appears on the roll. Unfortunately not mine.
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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #6994

  • Brett Hendey
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David and Munroe

Thank you for your contributions to this topic. I am now convinced that bronze QSA's were issued in South Africa in fairly large numbers and, only in exceptional circumstances, do they come to light.

There are another dozen files in the PMB Archives that might, or definely do refer to the medals sent to Natal. Unfortunately, I will not be able to get copies of these files until the New Year.

One of the complications with the Archives' files is that, at this period, many files relate to the award of medals to native chiefs commemorating the Coronation of Edward VII. Apparently, these large silver medals have a low survival rate, whereas the smaller and more numerous ones given to school children are not uncommon.

If some, many or even most of the bronze QSA's were traded as pennies in, for example, rural Zululand, their survival rate would have been minimal. Nevertheless, they are worth searching for and, also in the New Year, perhaps a hunt can be arranged.

Regards
Brett

PS Munroe, you have shown this forum medals of exceptional quality but, as I feel at the moment, if I could choose just one item from your collection, it would be your unnamed bronze QSA!

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #6998

  • David Grant
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I think it might be worth revising "I am now convinced that bronze QSA's were issued in South Africa in fairly large numbers"
Although the initial number of bronze medals ordered from the mint was 100000 this was rapidly revised down to 10000 already sent to South Africa.(References WO100/377 correspondence re war medals to South Africa)

The notation on the S&TC rolls seems to imply that these bronze medal were then forwarded to India where they were named and issued." Bronze medals sent by GOC South Africa to India for distribution. see AG2/M/12752" (See WO 100/298 page 120 for example). I have the names of 9317 medals issued to Indians. Missing circa 100(?). Leaving very few to be issued in South Africa.

Having said that the rolls for the Kimberley medals seem to be retrospective. "for whom bronze South Africa medals have been issued" (WO 100/377 p 31)
There might be 50-100 names on there.

References WO100/377 correspondence re war medals to South Africa
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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #7002

  • Brett Hendey
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David

Thanks for another informative contribution to this thread. I may well have been carried away by wishful thinking.

It would be useful to know the dates of the various references to Bronze QSA's in the Kew papers you mention.

I am still impressed by the figure of 2000 medals sent to Natal's Secretary o Native Affairs. This file and others as yet unread ones all date from 1903/4.

Interestingly, these files refer only to men who served in the 'Intelligence Department' or who are referred to as 'Guides'. There is no mention of the other black active servicemen who served in Natal throughout the war. The were Natal Policemen and Zululand Policemen, who may have made up a larger total than the 'Guides', with numbers running into the hundreds.

Regards
Brett

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #7004

  • David Grant
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"I am directed by the Secretary of State for War to aquaint you that 100000 Bronze Medals, without clasps, will shortly be despatched to you for presentation" 20/December 1901


" Refering to yr telegram 21st June 10000 bronze have been despatched" 13th June"


"A memorandum has however been received from Wolwich today intimating that the proposed shipment has been cancelled" 1st December 1902

"if it be decieded that these people are not to recieve the bronze medal, but only a few specially selected" 11 December 1902

Consult OMRS Vol 20 p101 Summer 1981 for a fuller explantion by JV Webb
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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 8 years 11 months ago #7005

  • David Grant
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Brett Hendey wrote: David and Munroe



One of the complications with the Archives' files is that, at this period, many files relate to the award of medals to native chiefs commemorating the Coronation of Edward VII. Apparently, these large silver medals have a low survival rate, QSA!


Plagerised form British Medal Forum

The Natal Archives in Pietermaritzburg have extensive records concerning the issue of this medal. The original authority for the issue came for Joseph Chamberlain, the Secretary of State for the Colonies (refer to the image of the letter from Sir Edward Wingfield, the permanent under-secretary, dated 5th May from Downing Street). The medals arrived in Durban by mail steamer on 17th June and were dispatched from Pietermaritzburg by registered mail to the various district magistrates on 21st June. The actual award ceremonies, on behalf of the Queen, were conducted by the magistrates over the following few weeks. The tribal celebrations called for the slaughter of cattle the cost of which was carried by the colonial administration.
Altogether 214 medals were issued (and one returned because the chief had died). The name of each recipient is known from the medal list which was adapted from the hut tax returns of the previous year (see images of a part of this list). Chief Josiah Batengi fell under the New Hanover district and images of documents which relate are below. Contemporary photographs exist which depict some Zulu chiefs wearing this medal along with the larger 1902 Natal Edward VII coronation medal which was the only other medal awarded to Zulu chiefs.
With trouble brewing between Natal and the Transvaal Republic, it could have been a political move to gather the loyalty of the Zulu people.
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