British South Africa Company Medal (for Mashonaland 1890, with "RHODESIA 1896" and "MASHONALAND 1897" clasps)
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The British South Africa Company Medal was initially sanctioned by Queen Victoria in 1896. It was granted to military personnel in commemoration of the First and Second Matabele Wars. There are four versions of the British South Africa Company Medal. Queen Victoria sanctioned the Matabeleland 1893 Medal in 1896 and the Rhodesia 1896 and Mashonaland 1897 Medals in 1897. In 1926, King Edward VII approved the Mashonaland 1890 Medal, which was administered by the Southern Rhodesia government. Only the Queen Victoria versions feature a reverse inscription of the campaign served.
The Silver Medal may have been awarded with four possible clasps denoting the campaign:
1. “MASHONALAND 1890”
2. “MATABELELAND 1893”
3. “RHODESIA 1896”
4. “MASHONALAND 1897”
The Matabeleland 1893 Medal was awarded to Officers, Non-commissioned Officers, enlisted men, and members of Bechuanaland Police and British South Africa Company’s forces who fought in the Matabeleland campaign from October 16 to December 24, 1893, during the First Matabele War. The Medal could be awarded with a “RHODESIA 1896” or “MASHONALAND 1897” clasp to denote additional campaigns served.
The Rhodesia 1896 Medal was awarded to personnel who fought in the Matabeleland and Mashonaland provinces, later known as Rhodesia, from March 24 to December 31, 1896, during the Second Matabele War. Recipients of the Rhodesia 1896 Medal were eligible for the “MASHONALAND 1897” clasp if they also served in the Mashonaland campaign of 1897.
The medal was designed by R. Caton Woodville.
The Mashonaland 1897 Medal was awarded to personnel who fought in the subsequent Mashonaland operations from March 24, 1896, to October 31, 1897, during the Second Matabele War. The Mashonaland 1897 Medal was awarded without a clasp.
The Mashonaland 1890 Medal was retrospectively awarded to members of the Pioneer Corps or British South Africa Company’s Police Force who took part in the Mashonaland 1890 expedition. The Mashonaland 1890 Medal did not feature the campaign details on the reverse but was issued with the “MASHONALAND 1890” clasp. “MATABELELAND 1893”, “RHODESIA 1896”, and “MASHONALAND 1897” clasps could also have been awarded to denote additional campaigns served.
Recipients of the Matabeleland 1893, Rhodesia 1896, Mashonaland 1897 Medals were instructed to exchange their medals for the Mashonaland 1890 and respective clasps. However, many recipients did not exchange their medals.
The Medal was issued named, but a number of different naming styles were used. There may be additional versions that differ in size.
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