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Boer war period medallion with the legend Transvaal Souvenir 1899-1900. I assume it was a private purchase item for those serving or visiting South Africa at the time.

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Official Title:

Great Britain: Souvenir Medal, “United in the Cause of Freedom”

Form: Circular

By: A. Fenwick

Date: 1900

Reference: AM: 34; Hern: 86; BHM: 3673; Fearon: 351.9; Laidlaw: 0046a;

Variations: Size / Metal / Mass / Value

38 mm Bronze 21.6 gm $220

38 mm White Metal 16 gm $70

Edge: Plain

Obverse:

Two shields inclined toward each other and overlapping. The left shield, representing the British Empire, is quartered with: (1) Star of India, (2) kangaroo – Australia, (3) scale balance – New Zealand and (4) beaver – Canada. The right shield has the British Royal coat of arms. To the left is a garland with a rose (England), shamrocks (Ireland) and thistles (Scotland). To the right is a laurel branch. Above is the Imperial Crown. Two clasped hands across the divide between the shields at the bottom. On a ribbon below: “WE . SERVE . UNDER . ONE . CROWN”. Above the ribbon, and below the hands, stamped: “REGISTERED”. Legend in ornate lettering above: “UNITED IN THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM” and below between stops: “WE DEFEND OUR EMPIRE”.

Reverse:

To the left, a sailor with rifle at attention; to the right, a soldier with rifle at the ready. They stand guard over the British Union flag, between them on a flagpole surmounted by a crown. Behind, two artillery pieces facing outwards and in the background, a ship behind the sailor and a tent behind the soldier. Legend in ornate lettering: “SOUVENIR (left) MEDAL 1899 / & 1900 (right)”. In the exergue in ornate letters: “THE QUEEN / GOD BLESS HER (in an arc)”. Signed on the left close to the rim: “FENWICK. F”. On the right near the rim, stamped: “REGISTERED”.

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Interesting, in retrospect a Bit like Gulf War 2.... the "conventional" part was over pretty fast.... then the guerilla phase took over.... this must have been made just after phase 1....

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Thanks very much Mike for all the detailed information, greatly appreciated.

I like all the iconography on it, the representation of the different forces involved.

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South Africa has a long history of producing commemorative medallions. Most of those in bronze were given to school children. With this one I would suspect it was for the serving men and the people in SA involved in

the War. Mervyn

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