I think he is missing a star and victory as I don't see him just getting a single BWM within RSA.[/quote]
Judging from all that has gone before, I agree with Ryan. There must be two groups, and the Star and VM are missing from the group shown here. Also, after doubting for a while, I have gone back to believing that Farmer was the recipient of a Natal DCM.
Mitchell, gave an address at the 6th SA Numismatic Convention in Durban ,5-10 July 1976.
He stated then as follows:
DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL: NATAL:
As I have said, the overwhelming majority of the D.C.M.'s awarded to Colonials during the Anglo-Boer War were of the Imperial pattern.
Only two exceptions are known. Abbot and. Tamplin describe a Canadian D.C.M. of the "trophy of arms" Victorian issue, named to Corporal T. Callaghan, 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles. Callaghan was awarded the D.C.M. for services in the Anglo-Boer War, and his name appears in the London Gazette of 27th September, 1901.
The medal from my own collection which I illustrate here is the Victorian "trophy of arms" issue, with reverse inscription "NATAL, FOR DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT IN THE FIELD". It is neatly engraved in large squarish capitals "TROOPER F.C. FARMER: NATAL CARBINEERS". General Sir Redvers Buller's despatch of March 30th 1900 recommended the award of the medal for Distinguished Conduct in The Field to "Tpr. E.(sic) C. Farmer, rescued Lieut MacKay, who was wounded, under very heavy fire, at Colenso". The award of the D.C.M. was duly announced in the London Gazette of 19th April, 1901. Unfortunately Farmer's Queen's South Africa Medal, for which he must have qualified, does not accompany this D.C.M,* Abbot and Tamplin raise the possibility that this and Callaghans Canadian D.C.M. might have been local replacements of lost medals of Imperial pattern.
While admitting this possibility, I must state that I have no doubt this piece is not a fake but a genuine Natal D.C.M. struck at the Royal Mint.
I have never seen reference to any other similar piece of Victoria's reign with trophy of arms obverse, and until another turns up I shall regard Farmer's as unique, ("in the light of current medal prices I cannot resist the temptation to tell you that it appeared at auction at Glendinings in London on 12th October*1949 and was subsequently listed by Seaby's in their Bulletin of January, 1950, at £6,15.0d. I paid a lot more than that when I acquired it a few years ago.
The next medal which I illustrate is the Edward VII issue of the Natal D.C.M. You will see that this piece bears the same reverse inscription "NATAL. FOR DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT IN THE FIELD". The obverse shows the left-facing bust of King Edward VII, in Field Marshal's uniform. You will note that while the Victorian issue had a double claw attachment, this piece has a single flange and pin.
This particular medal is unnamed and must have come from unissued stock. However, it is on record that the Natal Government made nine awards of the D.C.M. for the Natal Native Rebellion of 1906. l have not been able to locate any of these nine medals, but it is a fair presumption that they must have been the Edward VII version of the Natal D.C.M.
Many thanks for clearing up this matter. There is now a solid foundation to build up the later story of Farmer's medals, and those that purport to be his. Perhaps Farmer himself made up a replacement set of medals after he had lost the originals?