Jump to content

Recommended Posts

For a research project on this medal which evidences different die strikings and naming styles ( where named ) , I need details of known surviving medals , especially photos / scans of both sides and suspensions 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...


Above is a moderate-resolution photo from a Spink archive (https://www.spink.com/lot/18002000236) of a 24 July, 2018 auction (18002, Lot 236), of a Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry 1851 to John Keilberg. The Spink listing states that: "31 such medals are believed to have been awarded and, of the 22 known surviving examples, 11 are unnamed; this suggests that they were issued thus." Higher resolution versions of this same image can be viewed & zoomed on the salesroom website (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/spink/catalogue-id-srspi10178/lot-65be9677-5c0a-4733-836e-a914011ee946), but are hard to download. 



Above is a high-resolution image of an unnamed award of a Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry 1851 with ribbon suspension that is archived on the salesroom website (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/baldwins/catalogue-id-srbal10030/lot-a5fa926f-6706-4a9b-960d-a5df00c0c0b7). That medal comes from a 3 May, 2016 auction (98) by Baldwin's, Lot 2029 (https://issuu.com/baldwinscoins/docs/baldwins_auction_98_-_3_may_2016_-_/21). The above image can be zoomed for greater detail. 



Above is a high-resolution image that can be zoomed for greater detail of a named award to Girt Roots, without suspension device or ribbon. This comes from a 19 July, 2017 auction of Dix Noonan Webb, Lot 862 (https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?lot_uid=295314). The DNW listing also includes the footnote:  "Provenance: Spink, 27 March 1992 (Lot 31) ‘A previously unrecorded Harry Smith Medal struck from Obverse Die Number 1 and Reverse Die Number 1.’" The same listing is archived on the salesroom website (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/dixnoonanwebb/catalogue-id-dix-no10037/lot-516a6fbd-dc6d-42d5-8f0b-a7a200bbc33a).

Edited by Rusty Greaves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Rusty for posting these images. Much appreciated 

The Roots medal ( a nice genuinely awarded example as far as i am concerned ) is actually die 3 reverse and not die 1 as per the catalogue description .The die numbering , as per a  previous researcher's article, is arbitrary and does not denote any actual order of usage as far as I am aware 

I have to date images of the following , so images of , or references to , any others would be much appreciated ;

NAMED: Arendt, Cornelis , Dicks , Faroe, Ferara , Green ( rev.only , still need obv. ) , Keiberg, McKain, Roots

UNNAMED: as above, as posted by JL on BMF, as per DNW Archive , as held by Iziko, on Bid or Buy 9/2019

Besides the piece of the medal, images of the suspension are needed 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...


As with the last images I posted, these are readily found on the internet. You most likely have already seen these, and I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the examples. But as you have not had any additional contributions here, I though I would check and see if I could add a few more photos here. The Arendt duplicates what you have already, but I am including what is probably the obverse of the Green medal. The other info may not fit all your research criteria, but might add a little for folks browsing on GMIC. 




Above 2 images from the National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HT, (Registered Charity Number: 237902). (https://collection.nam.ac.uk/detail.php?acc=1986-12-31-1+). The information associated with these photos  includes: the NAM accession Number: NAM. 1986-12-31-1; and identifies the recipient: Paul Arendt. The image number of the obverse is: 88536; the image number for the reverse is: 88537. Both images are probably copyrighted by the National Army Museum. This medal to Paul Arendt is used in the wikimedia illustration of the same medal (shown below). 


The same medal awarded to Paul Arendt, is the WikiVisually example of this medal. From: https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Sir_Harry_Smith's_Medal_for_Gallantry




Above 2 images from: http://www.onlinemedals.co.uk/medal-encyclopaedia/pre-ww1-medals/sir-harry-smith’s-medal-gallantry



Above 2 images from a past auction by Collections Investments archived on the bidorbuy.co.za website: https://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/433963525/_Sir_Harry_Smiths_Medal_for_Gallantry.html. The auction description states: "Original suspender was removed (still can see marks where the original suspender was fitted), & a more ornate jewellery suspender put on for wear by a woman as a pendant. The links in the suspension show heavy wear from many years of wearing & are of the style used in mid Victorian period. The pendant has been polished quite a lot over the years leading to a lot of wear to the overall medal & design. I still believe this to be an original, just modified to be worn as a pendant with much wear from cleaning/polishing."

The South African Digest, Vol 11, of September 18, 1964 has an article on page 12 about the Africana Museum in Johannesburg hoping to obtain  a Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry 1851 awarded to Captain Francis Skead, Port Captain of Port Elizabeth, from Mrs M. Skead of Machadodorp. The Museum was hoping that the Johannesburg City Council would purchase the medal. No photo is included in the story. From: https://books.google.com/books?id=PaUO0kM0DZ8C&pg=RA34-PA8&lpg=RA34-PA8&dq=Sir+Harry+Smith+Medal+for+Gallantry+1851&source=bl&ots=tThlN3js9x&sig=ACfU3U3OVo1eojGhMWume5raMKQIErtxzA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiz14-l4MTuAhUjGDQIHbjdAVw4FBDoATAGegQIChAC#v=onepage&q=Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry 1851&f=false

An online pdf of the City of Johannesburg Africana Museum's: Military Medals of South African Interest: An Exhibition of the Collections in the Africana Museum and the South African National War Museum, Johannesburg, Augmented by Special Loans, 22 July-10 August 1957, a typed manuscript made in Johannesburg, 1957,  includes the following descriptions on pp. 174-176: 





Edited by Rusty Greaves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Rusty for the much appreciated additional information and postings

As regards the F.Skead Medal : I do not know if this actually exists .The Museum Africa have not replied to my email asking them to confirm. They do / did have a named Royal Humane Society Medal to him. If there is a SHS Medal named to him, it is almost certainly not a properly awarded medal 

The Roots Medal illustrated further above is of the same die striking as the H Ferara Medal which is one of the best provenanced of the known survivors 

I list further above photos so far seen by  me of the known surviving SHS Medals.

Any other photos or  , alternatively , text descriptions of other surviving specimens would be much appreciated  .

Of interest are exact naming details , die details ( including whether small or large letters for " in the " on the reverse and whether or not a full stop after " Field " ) , die cracks or not and suspension details ( missing , ring, wavy bar ) 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...


As you are based in South Africa, presumably you have contacted the likes of City Coins and Kaplan to see what has gone through their hands over the years already. As an example reference City Coins, Auction 55, Lot 1, appears to be one that you do not have in your list above:

"- Sir Harry Smith’s Medal for Gallantry named to Thos. Duncan See colour plate (silver; 33,4 mm diam.) Fitted with a plain silver clamp and loosely fitting clip suspender. The medal is in extremely fine condition and has a superb steel blue tone. Part of the characteristic metal flaws, due to the cracking of the original striking, have been removed through neat tooling. obv: A rather Eastern looking lion, be-whiskered and with very curly mane, left, with tail curled above his back, standing on a representation of the veld. above: a wreath of laurel tied with a ribbon. below: in the exergue, the date “1851”. rev: Legend only, above and around the circumference: “PRESENTED BY”; below it, in horizontal lines, “HIS EXCELLENCY” and the recipients name “Thos Duncan” engraved and finally around the lower half of the circumference, “FOR GALLANTRY IN THE FIELD.” The first, and most romantic medal of the South African series. The late Dr Frank Mitchell introduced his original article on this medal, published in the June 1955 edition of the “Africana Notes and News”, and wrote as follows: “Sir Harry Smith’s medal is to the war medal collector what the Cape triangular woodblock errors are to the philatelist or “Burchell’s Travels” to the Africana enthusiast. This medal is purely South African; it is extremely rare; it was the first medal ever worn by South Africa’s fighting men; it illustrates a most interesting period in our national history; and the details of it’s origin, its manufacture and its award are tantalizingly concealed amongst our records of the past. It has, in fact, all the ingredients which are calculated most to tickle the fancy of the discerning collector and to inspire the enthusiasm of the student”. Since then much has been written and speculated about this important and rare award. An illustration even graces the front cover of the most recent edition of Medal News (August 2005). Further details have been presented by Gordon Everson in his classic book “The South Africa 1853 Medal” and his subsequent article published in the September 1983 issue of the “Medal catalogue of the London Stamp Exchange”. However, the intrigue, romance and speculation remains. No medal roll has ever been found. Nor is it likely that all the details pertaining to the award will ever be found. What is undoubtedly factual is that the issue and award of this coveted medal was initiated by the flamboyant Sir Harry Smith, KCB, during his term as Governor of the Cape Colony. Sir Harry directly participated in numerous military field operations during the Frontier Wars of 1847 to 1852 and with all the difficulties he experienced, it is understandable that there were instances where he would have wished to reward his loyal and gallant troops in some way. His epic ride through enemy lines from Fort Cox to King Williamstown in 1851 is most often quoted. Although there was no Royal Warrant nor prior approval of the War Office for the award of this medal granted to local troops, archival records confirm that the full cost of the manufacture of both, the relevant dies as well as the medals themselves, were borne by the British Government of the time. Although he was criticized for his initiative Sir Harry obviously had his way! After it was announced that medals were to be awarded to men of the Levies who had distinguished themselves, the Duke of Newcastle was particularly indignant at the thought that Sir Harry had exceeded his authority. In reply to this criticism, Sir Harry stated, that as he was the Queen’s representative, he deemed himself authorized to grant such a distinction to Local Corps and had therefore “issued a General Order granting medals to those who had nobly and gallantly distinguished themselves, a measure attended with great success”. This medal should also be viewed in context of the then recent awards of both the Naval and Military General Service medals promulgated in 1848/49 (and numerous others) and the omission of a similar award for South Africa (subsequently sanctioned in 1854). As an award for Gallantry it may perhaps be viewed as a precursor to the coveted DCM approved by the Royal Warrant of 1854. An extremely rare and historically important gallantry medal."





Edited by gavinmedals
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In response to Gavin.

Thanks for your posting

I have contacted CC but did not receive an illustration of the Duncan medal from them which is something that I wish to have for my research into this medal 

The other party mentioned by you  and i are not in communication 

I regard the SHS Medal as an official award since it was issued by the Governor of the Colony who was the Queen's representative in the Colony and the medal received post facto approval from the UK authorities who authorised  payment for it 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are a few additional images of examples of the Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry 1851. All of the images come from archived auction listings by Dix Noonan Web (Numis, I'm sure you have all the DNW information already, but there is a mention, unfortunately no photo however, of an example awarded to Henry Evans, C.M.R on one DNW auction listing with a link provided below). I also am including a small amount of information from a numismatic publication of 1953 listing another named example to a "Hottentot" (Hendrik Ferrara; "Khoikhoi" would be a less derogatory term than "Hottentot", but also may not be an accurate ethnic identification of this man. Numis you note that you have images of that medal) and referencing another unnamed one in the War Museum at Johannesburg. That article also has some information referencing two other (unspecifed) recipients of this medal in the archives of the Moravian Mission station at Genadendal. 



Numis, I know you wrote that you have images of this Thos. Dicks medal, but I thought I would still include this high-resolution image (it can be zoomed for additional detail) from a Dix Noonan Webb auction (Lot: 617) of 10 December, 2014 (https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?lot_uid=258353). A 2001 DNW auction of this same medal (see next image below) shows it without the new replacement ribbon seen here, and both these images show the uncommon suspension ring not seen in the other photos of this medal on this thread.  



A much lower-resolution image of the same Thos. Dicks medal from a 4 December, 2001 auction (Lot: 66) by Dix Noonan Webb (https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?lot_uid=70891). This image shows the Dicks medal before a new ribbon was fitted (as seen on the Lot 7617 photo above) and shows what is probably the replacement suspension ring. 


This same Thos. Dicks medal also was listed on one other past Dix Noonan Webb auctions. That archived auction listing only provides the estimated prices & sold price, but no additional images of the Thos. Dicks medal. It was sold at a Dix Noonan Webb 13 December, 2017 auction (Lot: 240), archived at: https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?lot_uid=149551



This unnamed example of a Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry 1851 medal is from the same 10 December, 2014 auction (Lot: 618) as the 1st illustration of the Thos. Dicks medal shown above as Lot: 617 (https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?lot_uid=258354). This high-resolution image can be zoomed for additional details. 



Low-resolution image of another unnamed example of a Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry 1851 from a 22 June, 1999 Dix Noonan Webb auction (Lot: 32). From: https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?lot_uid=47283


Two other examples of Sir Harry Smith Medals for Gallantry 1851 are archived on the Dix Noonan Webb past auction listings, but neither are associated with any photographs. There is a named example to Henry Evans, C.M.R. (Cape Mounted Rifles) from a 19 March, 2008 auction (Lot: 204). The description and prices are archived at: https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?lot_uid=153200. An unnamed example was sold at a 4 December, 1991 auction (Lot: 19), archived at: https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?lot_uid=852


The following mention of two Sir Harry Smith Medals for Gallantry 1851 comes from the publication Seaby's Coin and Medal Bulletin of November, 1953 (published by B. A. Seaby Ltd., 65, GT. Portland Street, London, W. 1). A digitized image of 52 pages of this publication are available online (and can be downloaded) at the Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) at Washington University at St. Louis, USA (https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/555604?page=14). On page 457 in the article "WAR MEDALS AND NOTES", edited for us by a medal collector":


"Sir Harry Smith’s Medal. (See Bulletin for May, August and September, 1952). Dr. F. K. Mitchell sends us the Bulletin of the South African Numismatic Society for July, 1953, which records further progress in his researches into the origins of this interesting medal. He has located two further specimens, an unnamed one in the War Museum at Johannesburg and a named example, to Hendrik Ferrara who (as Dr. Mitchell has discovered) was a Hottentot in the Local Levies. A third previously unrecorded specimen was in the Moravian Museum at Herrenhut in Germany but disappeared during the war, though it may yet come to the surface again. Most important, however, is the tracing in the archives of the Moravian Mission station at Genadendal near Caledon in South Africa of details of the recruitment of the Levies and of their good services, as well as a record of the award of medals to two of these men by Sir Harry Smith. Their names are known, but their medals remain to be found. We are sure that Dr. Mitchell will appreciate information about further examples of this medal, named or unnamed. His address is P.O. Box 1073, Cape Town."





Edited by Rusty Greaves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably this list is well-known to you, but I came cross it on the same site that had the images the obverse & reverse of the named medal for Lt. E. Lister-Green, Online Medals, that are posted as the 4th & 5th images on this thread on 30 January (http://www.onlinemedals.co.uk/medal-encyclopaedia/pre-ww1-medals/sir-harry-smith’s-medal-gallantry). Maybe they are useful for other folks interested in this thread or shaking some trees about these medals. At the end is a note about the Henry Evans medal. 


"Known Recipiants Of The Medal - Taken from various sources, the list below is a summary of those who are known (or reputed) to have recieved the medal. 


Medals known or reputed to have been named are as follows:


Paul Arendt.

Piet Jan Cornelis.

R.S.M. William Richard Dakins.

Thomas Dicks.

Thomas Duncan.

Sapper R. Dunning R.E.

Henry Evans.

Girt Roots

David Faroe.

Hendrick Ferara.


J. Hassall.

John Keiburg.

Lt. Edward Lister-Green.

John Main.

H. McKain.

John McVarrie.

Francis Meades C.M.R.

J. Mouatt C.M.R.

Capt. Skead R.N.

Adrian Strauss.


Medals known or reputed to have been issued are as follows:

Sgt. Lodewyck Kleinhans.

Sgt. Appolis Lieuw.

Sgt. Maj. Johannes Tass."


The Seaby's Coin and Medal Bulletin of July, 1953 (published by B. A. Seaby Ltd., 65, GT. Portland Street, London, W. 1) has a brief note about the Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry 1851 awarded to Henry Evans of the Cape Mounted Rifles. It is identified as an element of a recently disperse collection of M. T. Kennard sold by Sotheby's in 1924 "by order of the then owner, Cora Countess of Strafford" in the article "WAR MEDAL NOTES AND NEWS, Edited by a collector who has no connection to this firm" on pages 290-291. The last medal identified in the list of those medals sold is "...and Sir Harry Smith’s medal to Henry Evans of the Cape Mounted Rifles." on page 291. This comes from the same source of available online documents (that can can be downloaded) at the Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) at Washington University at St. Louis as noted above at the end of my last post (https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/555601?page=16).

Edited by Rusty Greaves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Numis, most of what I've contributed is ground already quite familiar to you. I hope a couple of threads of this information may be useful to your research project's continued searches. 


My meagre information today identifies a few collectors who at one point owned 3 of the Sir Harry Smith Medals of Gallantry 1851, and below a couple identifications of recipients. This first collector's identification is probably known to you, I include it just to trace the ownership path of the John Keiberg medal. I was reviewing the online version of the catalogue for the 24 July, 2018 Spink auction (18002, Lot 236)  that lists the John Keiberg medal on pp. 82-83 (https://d3ums4016ncdkp.cloudfront.net/auction/catalogue/18002/18002.pdf), not just the online Spink listing or the saleroom website archived listing. The catalog presents some of the collection from which that medal came. The Keiberg medal is from Spink's Part I sale of medals from the collection of Terry Sole, consisting of mid-late 19th century medals from colonial conflicts in southern Africa. Several collectors blogs alerted interested collectors to this sale in 2018. Supposedly the 2nd part of the collection was expected to be auctioned in November of 2018, but I have not yet seen that listing. None of the other medals in the Terry Sole collection listed by Spink include other awards to known recipients of the Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry. 


The list of alleged recipients in my last email is apparently just copied from Wikipedia, not "taken from various sources" by the Online Medals Encyclopedia on their website. As noted below, the names of "Kleinhans" and "Tass" are spelled incorrectly in that Wikipedia list. 


There is a mention of the Sir Harry Smith Medal of Gallantry 1851 on pp. 14-15 of the publication The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps: (1915-1919), by Captain Ivor Denis Difford, 1920, Hortors Limited, Bee Street, Cape Town, that names 2 individual recipients of this medal and it identifies two collectors who may have owned those medals. I found the digitized copy of this publication archived on the South African History Online website (https://www.sahistory.org.za). The portions of pp 14-15 below can be zoomed for easier reading. 




Image of the bottom portion of page 14 of The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps: (1915-1919), by Captain Ivor Denis Difford, 1920, Hortors Limited, Bee Street, Cape Town, identifying the 2 collectors who owned 2 (named?) Sir Harry Smith Medals for Gallantry 1851 as Colonel Murray and Major William Jardine. This page illustrates the medal and the description also extend onto page 15 (From: https://www.sahistory.org.za/sites/default/files/difford_id_the_story_of_the_1st_cape_corps_1915_-_1919.pdf)




The upper portion of page 15 of: The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps: (1915-1919), by Captain Ivor Denis Difford, 1920, Hortors Limited, Bee Street, Cape Town. This continues the description of the medal and ribbon, then names the 2 recipients from the Genadendal records (probably the same archive source mentioned without the names from the Seaby's Coin and Medal Bulletin of November, 1953 I referenced own my post here of 13 March) as: Sergeant Lodewijk Kleinhaus  (not "Lodewyck Kleinhans" as in the Wikipedia list repeated on several websites); and Sergeant Major Johannes Jass (not "Johannes Tass" as in the Wikipedia list). Although it is not explicitly stated, it appears likely that these 2 named Sir Harry Smith Medals for Gallantry were owned by the collectors named on page 14, however that is unclear. 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The description of the ribbon for the Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry 1851 on the top of pg. 15 of The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps: (1915-1919), by Captain Ivor Denis Difford, 1920 (shown above in my post of 17 March) states that it was based on that of the Sutlej Medal. The Battle of Aliwal led by Sir Harry Smith, was the 2nd major battle of the Sutlej campaign, and was a great tactical success for Smith, resulting in several awards ("...a knighthood, a baronetcy, the award of the Grand Cross of the Bath, the formal thanks of both Houses of Parliament, of Wellington, [as Commander-in-Chief], the freedom of the cities of London and Glasgow and, in 1847, the honorary degree of LL.D. from the University of Cambridge..." from a lecture by Andrew L. Harrington, M.A. to the South African Military History Society in June, 1973, published as "Sir Harry Smith" in Military History Journal, Vol 3 [1], June 1974; availalbe on line at: http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol031ah.html). For that reason, Sir Harry Smith selected the same ribbon as that of  the Sutlej Medal for his own privately instituted award for bravery following the siege of Fort Cox in December, 1850 at the beginning go the 8th Cape Frontier War. Below is an example of the Sutlej Medal exhibiting the same ribbon as employed for the Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallanty 1851. 




High-resolution image of the Sutlej Medal from a 19 July, 2017 auction (Lot 835) by Dix Noonan Webb (https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?lot_uid=295287). This medal is identified as having been awarded to Lieutenant Charles Abney Mouatt, of the 50th Regiment. The auction listing provides a short biographical synopsis of Lt. C. A. Mouatt as follows: "Charles Abney Mouatt was commissioned Ensign in the 50th Foot on 6 March 1840; Lieutenant, 16 September 1841. He served in the Gwalior campaign and was present at the battle of Punniar (Bronze star); in the Sutlej campaign including the battles of Moodkee, Ferozeshuhur, Aliwal and Sobraon. He was wounded at Ferozeshuhur and severely wounded at Moodkee (Medal with three clasps). He exchanged to the 24th Foot on 14 October 1851, and died at Rawalpindee, in the Punjab, on 11 October 1854." The same image of this medal and biography also is archived on the the salesroom website (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/dixnoonanwebb/catalogue-id-dix-no10037/lot-4378f051-94f0-4d3b-b7c8-a7a200bbc33a#lotDetails).


This C. A. Mouatt is not the same individual mentioned in the The Wikipedia list of possible recipients of the Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry 1851 as "J. Mouatt, C.M.R." 


The Forces-War-Records website (https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/medals/sutlej-medal) describes the Sutlej Medal as follows:


"The Sutlej Medal was a campaign medal instituted 17th April 1846, for issue to officers and the men of the British Army and Honourable East India Company who served in the Sutlej campaign of 11th December, 1845 to 9th March, 1846.  This is also known as the First Anglo-Sikh War.


The Sutlej Medal was the first campaign medal with bars to be given to both officers and men to denote soldiers who fought in the major battles.


The first action of which the recipient took part was given in the exergue on the reverse of the medal, of which four types had to be issued.  This was the first time this had been done in the case of a battle. The four different types contain the exergues of either (1) “MOODKEE 1845,” (2) “FEROZESHUHUR 1845,” (3) “ALIWAL 1846,” or (4) “SOBRAON 1846.”  A solider that had been in every action received a medal with the exergue “MOODKEE 1845,” plus three bars, a soldier who had been engaged in only the last encounter received a medal with the exergue “SOBRAON 1846,” without bars.


The First Anglo-Sikh War was caused by the unexpected invasion of the Punjab by the Sikh Army, which crossed the Sutlej on 11th December, 1845 to capture Ferozespore and Ludhiana.  Commander-in-Chief Sir Hugh Gough’s Army was taken by surprise and was forced to march the distance of 150 miles to encounter the Sikh army, which outnumbered to British by five-to-one at Moodkee on 18th December, 1845.  After very heavy fighting and large losses on both sides, the Sikh Army withdrew.   On the 21st December, 1845, General Gough who was reinforced with two British battalions went to attack the main Sikh strong hold at Ferozeshuhur.  Again there was a serve battle in which British forces lost one in six of their fighting force before the Sikhs were defeated.  Then just a month later, another Sikh army crossed the border to the village Aliwal, on 28th January, 1846, where British forces commanded by Sir Harry Smith fought for three hours before the Sikh Army was routed.  The 16th Lancers distinguished themselves in this battle by charging and breaking the enemy, losing over 100 men in the process.


The last action of this campaign in the First Anglo-Sikh war was fought on 10th February, 1846 at Sobraon, where the Sikh Army entrenched themselves over two miles, with a forces of 34,000 men and 20,000 reserves.  Though Sir Gough and his Army of Europeans and native troops fought well and the enemy fled in total disorder.  After the Sikhs were defeated in four major battles and they final complied to sign a treaty at Lahore on 22nd February, 1846.


Ribbon – Dark blue centre with crimson edges

Type – Campaign medal

Eligibility – British and Honourable East India Company forces.

Awarded for – Campaign service.

Campaign – Sutlej 1845-46. First Anglo-Sikh War.

Established – 17th April, 1846

Designer – Wyon, R.A.

Suspension – Ornate / An ornamental swivelling suspender.

Naming – Indented in capital letter or light Roman skeleton lettering.

Total Awarded – Not known.

Clasps – Three

Description – The obverse of this silver campaign medal is the diademed head of Queen Victoria with the legend “VICTORIA REGINA”, and similar to that of the First China War.  The reverse of the medal is the standing figure of Victory, facing to the left.  In her outstretched right arm she holds a wreath in her hand and an olive branch in her left.  At her feet is a pile of captured war trophies.  The legend “ARMY OF THE SUTLEJ” is written around the circumference.  There are four different exergues which contain either of the following, (1) “MOODKEE 1845,” (2) “FEROZESHUHUR 1845,” (3) “ALIWAL 1846,” or (4) “SOBRAON 1846.”


FEROZESHUHUR:                                         21st December – 22nd December, 1845.

The Battle of Ferozeshah was fought on 21st December and 22nd December, 1845 between the British and the Sikhs, at the village of Ferozeshah in Punjab. The British were led by Sir Hugh Gough and Governor-General Sir Henry Hardinge, while the Sikhs were led by Lal Singh.

The British emerged victorious, but the battle was one of the hardest-fought in the history of the British army.


ALIWAL:                                                       28th January 1846.

The Battle of Aliwal was fought on 28th January 1846 between the British and the Sikhs. The British were led by Sir Harry Smith, while the Sikhs were led by Ranjodh Singh Majithia. The British won a victory which is sometimes regarded as the turning point of the First Anglo-Sikh War.


SOBRAON:                                                   10th February, 1846.

The Battle of Sobraon was fought on 10th February 1846, between the forces of the British East India Company and the Sikh Khalsa Army, the army of the Sikh Empire of the Punjab. The Sikhs were completely defeated, making this the decisive battle of the First Anglo-Sikh War.





Edited by Rusty Greaves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have just a note from 1851 about the designer of the Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry 1851, Charles Davidson Bell. I was only previously acquainted with him for some of his watercolors of "Bushmen" (San) from his participation in 1834 at the age of 21, accompanying Dr. Andrew Smith for 2 years on the "Expedition for Exploring Central Africa" via Kuruman mission station to the Tropic of Capricorn in modern Botswana. 




Self-portrait of Charles Davidson Bell (1813-1882) in crayon (70 X 57 cm), painted c.1858, the William Fehr Collection. Bell was the Survey-General in the Cape, artist, heraldist (he designed the coat-of-arms of the South African College [now University of Cape Town], and the "three anchors" badge of the South African Mutual Life Assurance Society -"Old Mutual"- and both emblems are still in use, considered to be the oldest academic arms and corporate logo in South Africa), and designer of medals and stamps (designer of the Cape of Good Hope triangle stamp, issued 1853). From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Davidson_Bell#/media/File:Charles_Davidson_Bell05.jpg


In 1851, Charles Davidson Bell designed the unofficial Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry presented to the volunteer levies of the 8th Frontier War. The Cape Monitor of 25 April, 1851, recorded the occasion: "We have been favoured with an inspection of a design for a Silver Medal, intended to be presented by the Commander-in-Chief to the most meritorious of the Volunteer levies. The design, which has been drawn by Mr. Bell, the Surveyor General, at his Excellency's request, presents, on the face, the British Lion standing proudly, surmounted by a victorious wreath." (cited on pg. 18 of: Lipschitz, Michael Roy, 1992. The Charles Davidson Bell Heritage Trust Collection: A Catalogue and Critical Study, Vol 1. M.A.Thesis, Department of History and Art, University of Cape Town). 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Numis, I assume you have seen the F.K. Mitchell 1955 article referenced on page 175 of the portion of the document I included in my post of 30 January on this thread from an online pdf of the City of Johannesburg Africana Museum's: Military Medals of South African Interest: An Exhibition of the Collections in the Africana Museum and the South African National War Museum, Johannesburg, Augmented by Special Loans, 22 July-10 August 1957 (a typed manuscript made in Johannesburg, 1957). That manuscript article identifies the Mitchell article as the most authoritative publication on the Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry at the time. Gavinmedals also quoted the 1955 Mitchell article in his post of 5 March on this thread. Mitchell states in his Africana Notes and News 1955 article that he personally examined 12 extant medals (7 named), made plaster casts of all of those , and identified some documentation of 10 others (9 named). Dr. Mitchell also located 1 obverse and 4 reverse design dies in the South African Museum in Cape Town. The point that Dr. Mitchell makes on pp. 239-242 regarding the unnamed examples potentially being left blank simply because some of the CMR soldiers recognized may have been non-literate is a very valid inference. Clearly, this is still one of the most important pieces of scholarship on the Sir Harry Smith Medal for Gallantry. As the article is short, and a copy was available in my local university library, I think anyone interested in this medal also would enjoy the opportunity to read this detailed report. Reproduced in full below is the the article: Mitchell, F. K., 1955. Sir Harry Smith's Medal for Gallantry: 1955. African Notes and News (Africana Aantekeninge En Nuis), Vol XI, No. 7 (June 1955), pp. 236-242. Africana Society, Africana Museum, City of Johannesburg (printed by Cape Times Limited, Johannesburg): 







Plate 1 illustrates the named "J. HASSALL" medal that Dr. Mitchell personally owned.




Because this issue of June 1955 is bound with all issues of Africana Notes and News 1953-1955, it is difficult to open the book fully without damaging the binding, and so part of the caption for this plate is obscured. The caption reads in full: "CAPE MOUNTED RIFLEMEN,  KAFFIR WAR 1850." BY "H. M." I.E. HENRY MARTENS. By courtesy of the Curator of the Rifle Brigade and King's Royal Rifle Corps Regimental Museum, The Depot, Winchester, Hants."




The above list on page 237 includes the Sir Harry Smith Medal in the Jardine Collection, mentioned in the first paragraph of page 14 of the document , The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps: (1915-1919), by Captain Ivor Denis Difford, 1920, Hortors Limited, Bee Street, Cape Town that I posted in this thread on 17 March, and clarifies that Major William Jardine's example of this medal is unnamed. 




Obviously, from the lists on pp. 237-238 it is clear that most of the currently known named examples were identified by Dr. Mitchell's research and reported here in his 1955 article. The exceptions are: the Thos. Keiberg, Lt. E. Lister-Green, John Main, Girt Roots, and Capt Skead R.N. examples; in addition to the possible Sergeant Appolis Lieuw. medal. Mitchell also discusses on page 241 of this article the 2 names from the "Diary" of Genadendal and gives additional information about why he believes those individuals probably were awarded Sir Harry Smith Medals for Gallantry: Sergeant Major Johannes Tass and Sergeant Lodewyck Kleinhans (not: "Joannes Jass" or  "Lodewijk Kleinhaus" as reported on page 14 of the Difford 1920, The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps: (1915-1919) volume that I posted on 17 March. I mistakenly thought that Difford might have a correct spelling of their names as he was in South Africa and potentially more familiar with sources about this medal, and had a knee-jerk distrust of "information" I see on Wikipedia. 










The discussion here on page 241 of the "Diary" of Genadendal, the information from Rev L. R. Schmidt's research to track down the 2 medals mentioned, and the investigation of the Moravian Museum in Germany, adds much greater details to the brief information included on page 457 in the article "WAR MEDALS AND NOTES" in Seaby's Coin and Medal Bulletin of November, 1953, summarizing the information from the July 1953 Bulletin of the South African Numismatic Society sent by Dr. Mitchell about his ongoing research, that I posted at the end of my 13 March addition to this thread. 







Cover of the University of Utah copy of Africana Notes and News Vol XI, No. 7 (June 1955) on the R, and he back cover of Vol XI No.6, March 1955 (this is the same as appears on the back cover of the June 1955 issue), bound with other issues of the Africana Notes and News 1953-1955. 




Table of Contents for Africana Notes and News Vol XI, No. 7 (June 1955).

Edited by Rusty Greaves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Rusty for the additional extensive information posted 

Why I am endeavouring to obtain illustrations and other new info is to test the validity of previous information and assumptions about this medal

A few notes :

(1) H .Ferara Medal illustrated in a history of Genadendal by Balie 

(2) Henry Evans medal: neither Mitchell or Everson in their articles mention the " CMR "  which is in the naming of the specimen auctioned by DNW The medal was previously auctioned by Debenhams in 1898 and Glendinnings in 1933

(3) Dunning RE : apparently a die cracked specimen .Probably self awarded .

      Re Museum did not respond to request for photo due to lockdown

(4) Skead RN : if medal exists (? Museum Africa have not responded to request for confirmation ; and possibly confusion with his RHS Medal ) almost certainly spuriously named and not entitled 

(5) I suspect that any supposed recipients outside of CMR and local levies were not entitled 

(6) Lister Green did serve with CMR but I am slightly surprised to see an officer recipient 

     I put a query on BMF as to whether any extant service record of his might record the SHS Medal but nothing came up 

(7) As far as I am aware Mitchell Die numbers  are arbitrary and do not denote any known  priority of strikings ( eg between reverse dies 1 and 3 ) 

(8) Dies used for Mouatt medal raise queries about this medal in my eyes

(9) One would need to have seen naming on all known surviving specimens before coming to any definite conclusions about whether issued unnamed or not 

(10) I regard it as being of relevance to note details of suspensions and variations thereof 

(11)It would be nice if persons in medal collecting who have information and surviving specimens would contrbute to this investigation and exposition 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Difficult to exactly make out but there could be a flourish above the final " G" in the naming of the Keiberg Medal similar to that above the first " G" in the naming of the Roots medal ( both illustrated above ) 

Any opinions on this from those with better eyesight than mine.

Any similarities in naming  between any of the known named medals would indicate that some of the medals went to the same engraver ( possibly at different times as awards were made sporadically ) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Re SHS Medal to Henry Evans ( mentioned above ) 

Apparently this did have CMR in naming on an early auction appearance 

However as per advice received on BMF,  he is not on the SA 1853 Medal Roll not are service papers for him findable

My feeling is that all SHS Medals to English sounding names that do not appear on the SA 1853 Medal Roll for the CMR should be name checked against any surviving muster lists etc for the CMR for the 185o-2 period that might be findable 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Blog Comments

    • Sounds great other than the Orange & Mango squash only because I prefer cran-pomegranate juice.
    • "(...) disgusting herbal concoction (...)" I took note of this description, to enrich my otherwise limited, English "Wortschatz"...
    • At work the standard indian tea such as PG tips is referred to as chimp tea. This goes back to the days when we had a Spanish girl working for us whose command of the English language was extremely limited. One lunch she said she was going to the shop could she get anything. I asked if she could get a pack of tea bags. She returned with some disgusting herbal concoction. I tried to explain what was required but without success. I then remembered PG tips had a picture of a chimpanzee on the packe
    • When I read Lapsang Souchong i decided to post something about these Tea . Many years ago I dont  know about Lapsang until I read James Michener book Centennial and the description of the savour of the Lapasang as a mix of tar and salt & smoked made me proof . It was exact ! and i liked it since then .
    • I have been known to drink Lapsang Souchong and Tea, Earl Grey, Hot... both "without pollutants". I normally have one mug of coffee in the morning, then spend the rest of the day drinking Orange & Mango squash (by the pint). Then evening comes and it's a pint, followed by red wine with dinner and sometimes a drop of Laphroaig afterwards.
  • Create New...