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Rand Rifles Queen South Africa Medal

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

I was recently lucky enough to obtain a Queens South Africa Medal in a local auction awarded to Private 28928 Robert Thiwell of the Rand Rifles.

The medal has no battles clasps as I believe that this Unit was generally employed in guarding the area of Johannesburg and the local mines.

Would anyone know of any published histories surrounding this Unit and its activities during the war please?

Regards Simon.

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The Rand Rifles wre formed in late 1900 to guard the Johannesburg Area,they were invo;lved in local skirmishes but were not involved in any majoor action hence no battle clasps. Robert Thirwell was discharged from the Rifles on 23 May 1901. A seperate unit The Rand Rifles Mine Guards were specifically tasked to defend the gold mines. I suspect any histories devoted solely to these units would be contemporary local productions.

Nice acquisition.


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Hi - Simon. They also helped to guard the railways and bridges etc.. They are still in existance and their retiring colonel recently

bought a sword from me for the Regt. Colonel to carry. A few years back they were sent to help the UN in the Congo. They were

told to take their own equipment - which infuriated them as much of it had been kept in stores since WW2 . Mervyn.

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From Stirling's The Colonials in South Africa (1907) :


This corps was raised towards the close of 1900, and was generally employed on the defences of Johannesburg and of posts in the surrounding district. They saw some skirmishing and some sharp attacks on posts,but they were not in any big engagement, and had few opportunities of gaining distinction. The corps remained on service till the end of the war.

The following Mention was gained :

Lord Kitchener's Despatch : 8th March 1902. Pte. P. N. Maskell,promoted Cpl. by Commander-in-Chief for distinguished conduct in defence of post at Brakpan, February 5, when 5 men repulsed 49 Boers.

Another unit of the same name was formed in December 1914 for the German South West Africa campaign, and disbanded in December 1919. Both quite distinct from the Witwatersrand Rifles, a Citizen Force (now Reserve Force) regiment formed in 1905.

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