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Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 7 months ago #10027

  • Brett Hendey
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Out of sight, out of mind will hopefully apply in this case!

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Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 7 months ago #10057

  • JustinLDavies
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A House of Commons debate 1903 from Hansard

South African War—Medals for Kaffirs.

HC Deb 23 February 1903 vol 118 c489 489
§MR. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.) To ask the Secretary of State for War on what grounds did Lord Kitchener base his request that 100,000 medals should be despatched to South Africa for presentation to kaffirs who were engaged in the British service during the late war; whether General Lyttelton, now Commander of the Forces in South Africa, has presented some of the medals to Kaffirs, or has directed them to be presented to Kaffirs; and, if so, how many of those medals were presented; how many Kaffirs during the late war drew pay from military funds, and for what services was that pay drawn; and, seeing that the War Office authorities gave assurances that natives took no part in the late war, will he state what was the precise character of the administrative services for which medals for the natives were requested by Lord Kitchener.
§THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford I have no detailed information to enable me, in reply to the points raised by the hon. Member, to add to the information already given to him. The services on which the natives were employed were chiefly in connection with transport and supply, with intelligence work, and hospital services.
§MR. SWIFT MACNEILL But why were so many medals sent out?
§MR. BRODRICK The number of natives employed was very large.
§MR. SWIFT MACNEILL Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will send a sample of the medals into the tea room for inspection by Members.

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Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 7 months ago #10078

  • Brett Hendey
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Justin

Thank you for another helpful and interesting contribution to this thread. That is the first mention I have seen of "100,000" medals. The more formally employed men such as scouts can have been nowhere near that total. However, if all those doing menial tasks are included, perhaps the number is not unrealistic.

The large numbers of blacks employed by the British army, coupled with poor record keeping and political factors, ultimately contributed to the almost complete failure of medallic rewards for these men.

Regards
Brett

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Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 7 months ago #10100

  • QSAMIKE
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Justin.....

In my project I of re-typing the Strathcona Routine Orders I have come across the following......

This is when the Straths were getting ready to go by sea north to Durban and Port Elizabeth.....


s.s. "Chicago"

Major Snyder in command, Lieut. Ketchen & No. 4 Troop "A", Lieut. Stevenson and Farriers of "A", Mr. Snider, the transport Sgt. and Private Quick.

Mr Benyon, Laidlaw, Magee, Machine Gun men, 359 mules, transport and machine gun, 33 wagons and carts, 4 machine guns, 10 horses, 4 pom-pom guns, 79 boys, 3 conductors.

s.s. "Mohawk"

Major Laurie in command, Mr. Leckie and 2 Troop "C" Squadron, Private Niblett, Vet. Assistand, 200 pack ponies and and mules, native drivers and one conductor.

The horses of the above officers and men will go on s.s. "Maplemore".

s.s. "Maplemore"

Lt. Col. Steele in Command. Capt.'s Howard and Cartwright, balance of "A" and "C" Squadrons including "C" Squadron, Farriers and F.Q.M.S. Mc,illian, 342 horses and saddles, arms and accoutriments, extra personal baggage, saddlery &c of 200 men of "B"


Mike
Life Member
Past-President Calgary
Military Historical Society
O.M.R.S. 1591

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Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 7 months ago #10101

  • Henk Loots
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Hi Brett
I refer to your question on the "City Coins" topic.
I have included a well worn "Exempted from Native Law" medallion in my next consignment for City Coins. It was issued to Charles Mbizana in terms of Law 28 of 1865 and is the only example I have ever come across in my years of collecting.
Some 20 years ago I helped the Durban Museum when they had a burglary involving medals. As a return measure the librarian obtained for me a copy of Mbizana's petition to the Governor. It also included some other relevant photocopies, one of which is also appended.
Regards
Henk
Attachments:

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Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 7 months ago #10136

  • Brett Hendey
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Hi Henk

Many thanks for responding to my enquiry with a very helpful response. I am still getting over the recent City Coins sale and now I must start saving for the next one! I guessed that they would have a low survival rate and the condition of your example bears this out.

Exemption Medals are an interesting window on an aspect of Natal's social history, so I have added them to my bronze QSA/Natal Native Scouts project.

Regards
Brett

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