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j-sk

Rhodesia - Zimbabwe 1980 medals

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Good evening Gentlemen,

I have recently acquired two medals related to the Zimbabwe independence of 1980:

- cupro-nickel Rhodesia medal 1980, unnamed (police personnel),

- bronze Zimbabwe independence medal 1980, numbered 24214.

Although both were awarded to any individual participating in the Zimbabwe independence process of 1980, could anyone of you let me know if it was allowed to wear the Zimbabwe independence one together with other British medals in police uniform or in civvies?

Thank you in advance for your valuable information.

All the best,

Jean-Samuel Karlen.

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Jean-Samuel - interesting question.

The cupro-nickle one is probably the one with Cecil Rhodes profile ? They were normally named, but there

may not have been time before the hand-over. The Independence medal is not named - it is a rather garish gilt.

I would suspect that they were both given to the same man - at the same time.

You say awarded to someone taking part in the 1980 Independence procedures - are you referring to a Rhodesian

citizen - or, to one of the British observers and army personnel sent over to assist in keeping the peace ? He

would not have been eligible for the Rhodesian GSM - may have acquired one as a souvenir.

Unless the British Government have gazetted - or, given approval - I don't think the Rhodesian medals could be

worn by an ex-Rhodesian citizen with later awarded British medals. We really need the opinion of a Rhodesian who

later joined British Forces. With regard to the Independence medal, awarded to British personnel - then I would think this would be allowed. Mervyn

ps. One point - prior to the 1965 UDI takeover by Ian Smith's Govt. - Rhodesia had been a British Crown

Colony. Very many of Her citizens had fought for Britain and their medals would be worn in the normal way.

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Dear Mervyn

Thank you very much for getting back to me and for your explanation.

I was actually refering to medals awarded to a British bobby sent to Rhodesia with the peace-keeping force.

(see both medals in attachment).

Although this bobby received both, was he entitled to wear both?

Cheers,

Jean-Sam.

Edited by j-sk

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I just saw the following GB medal group on the Internet.

The "Rhodesia 1980" medal is there, but not the Zimbabwe Independance one...

It looks like the latter could not to be worn on GB groups... (?)

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Jean-Sam

I suspect your interpretation is correct and that British servicemen were not allowed to wear the Zimbabwean medal while in uniform. However, your pair of medals is highly collectible. The Rhodesia Medal is comparatively rare and is worth about 400 GBP, while the Zimbabwean one is common and not in itself worth much.

Regards

Brett

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Just to add onto Brett's explanation - the Rhodesia Medal was created for British servicemen and Police

who were seconded to Rhodesia to help keep order during the handover period. He would have been

awarded both medals. Mervyn

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The Zimbabwe Independence Medal was not authorised for wear in the UK. However, you will sometimes see the silver type officially worn, as these were Restricted Wear (by permission) awards. It's also worth remembering that even though UDI was declared in '65, Rhodesia remained a Commonwealth realm for a further five years and the imperial awards continued until the republican awards were instituted in 1970. Rhodesia (regardless of UDI and the republic), was still officially 'on the books' as the Crown Colony of Southern Rhodesia until April 1980.

Edited by Tony Farrell

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Thank you all, Gentlemen, for your interesting and most valuable infos and viewpoints.

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So, WWII service, perhaps with the RAF, and post war service in Palestine & Malaysia, follwed by emigration to Rhodesia and police service there?  Interesting indeed!

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