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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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An interesting group indeed!  Thank you for showing it.  What are the two clasps on the GSM?

Regards

Brett

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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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On 20/03/2014 at 13:30, Brett Hendey said:

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

The Zimbabwe Independence Medal wasn't created by Mugabe. It was created by Lord Soames the British governor of Southern Rhodesia from 1979/80. I also had a conversation many years ago with one of the Rhodesians who helped design the medal. Of course Mugabe had a say in the design to where certain things had to be put eg the AK47 and the Zimbabwe Ruins which ironically the ruins had no connection to Mugabe's Shona tribe. Ah well nothing like marketing. 

On 23/03/2014 at 05:28, Tony Farrell said:

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. 

No they didn't. Rhodesian awards started from at least 1967. In case you think I'm wrong this is part of my collection that I once owned. At one stage I had four BCR groups including to a famous pseudo terrorist KIA Selous Scout Corporal Obert Mabaleka. 

Lieutenant-Colonel R.F. Reid-Daly dedicated a number of pages to Obert in his book 'Pamwe Chete.'

The UK GSM was issued to a Rhodesian member of C(Rhodesia) Squadron 22 Special Air Service for service in Malaya 51-53. 

Part of my collection.jpg

Edited by rhodesianmilitaria

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To definitively reply to the original question(s) posted by the originator of this thread I would comment as under.

All British personnel, whether Military or Civil (including Police) who were entitled to receive the Zimbabwe Independence Medal (all grades) for their service in Rhodesia in 1980, were allowed to accept the medal under 'Restricted Permission' conditions of award - see attached the accompanying letter from Buckingham Palace that stipulated in very clear terms under what conditions the Zimbabwe Independence Medal could be worn in British Military or Civil uniform.

2050319119_ZimbabweMedal001.thumb.jpg.5b327dc2d61d448e930548f4f1adf066.jpg

Regardless of whether the medal awarded was silver or bronze, the same 'Restricted Permission' to wear rules applied.

The same rules also applied to wearing of the 'ribbon' only in uniform.

As far as wear of the medal by uniformed services in the United Kingdom is concerned, it could / can only ever be worn 'officially' in 'uniform' when on official duty in connection with a state visit / or otherwise specified approved government duties where senior Zimbabwean government / diplomatic officials are present etc.

As can be seen from the attached, the medal, and or the medal ribbon, could only effectively be worn in British Uniform, on specific.

Considering the long history of poor relations bewtween the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe, there can seldom have been many 'official' opportunites for recipients in the United Kingdom to officially wear in uniform the Zimbabwe Independence Medal, it's miniature or ribbon.

As information.

 

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Thanks for putting me right. Every little helps. Is there a definitive cut off date for imperial awards in the Rhodesian armed forces? I've not been able to find one. I only ask as I have a medal in my collection that omits the 'Southern' prefix following the federal period and I'd like to know how much of a shelf life these issues had before being replaced by the post UDI awards.

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The British always referred to Rhodesia as Southern Rhodesia even after the federation disbanded and Northern Rhodesia became Zambia and Nyasaland became Malawi. Part of the argument between Ian Smith and various UK governments was if Zambia and Malawi had become independent from the Britain in 1964 why wasn't Rhodesia allowed to become independent.

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The Black Majority Rule issue aside, an article by Brian Taylor in the OMRS MoH supplement of 1982 states that the Commonwealth honours and awards effectively ceased* upon UDI and a committee was soon  established to create a replacement system: the Honours & Awards Act of 1969 (No.50/69) being the fruit of their labours.

A Government Notice (893A/69) published in the Rhodesia Government Gazette on 10th November 1969 established the creation of the Rhodesian GSM - with further awards being authorised a year later in November 1970 by a series of notices (1093-1113/70).

*ISTR a member of the Rhodesian Army winning a Queen's Medal at Bisley during the post UDI and pre-republic era (65-70), and also one or two RRAF LS&GCs being awarded, hence my query. I'm not sure how Rhodesian awards could thus have been awarded from 'at least 1967' when the H&A committee was still deliberating, with their conclusions being some two years distant.

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