|King’s South Africa Medal|
|Type||Military Campaign medal|
|Awarded for||Campaign service|
|Presented by||the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India|
|Eligibility||British and Colonial forces|
|Campaign(s)||Second Boer War|
|Clasps||SOUTH AFRICA 1901|
SOUTH AFRICA 1902
|Order of wear|
|Next (higher)||Ashanti Medal|
|Next (lower)||Africa General Service Medal|
|Related|| Queen's South Africa Medal |
Cape Copper Company Medal for the Defence of O'okiep
The King's South Africa Medal is a British campaign medal awarded to all British and Colonial military personnel who served in the Second Boer War in South Africa, and who were in the theatre on or after 1 January 1902 and who had completed 18 months service in the conflict prior to 1 June 1902. 
The fourth campaign medal relating to the Second Boer War, and the second which could be awarded for service in South Africa, the King's South Africa Medal was instituted in 1902 and was the first British campaign medal to be instituted by King Edward VII. Recipients had to have served in the theatre of war between 1 January 1902 and 31 May 1902 and completed 18 months service in the conflict, not necessarily continuous, prior to 1 June 1902.
The medal was never awarded singly, but was always paired with the Queen's South Africa Medal.   
The medal recognised service in the difficult latter phases of the war and rewarded those who, by their long service in the field, had brought the campaign to a successful conclusion. Poor logistics over very long supply lines and disease, combined with having to fight against a disciplined and capable enemy of excellent horsemen and marksmen who had perfected guerrilla warfare, made this a hard-won medal. In addition to men often having had to go without basics such as food and water, enteric fever killed several thousand and was a constant drain on manpower. Published casualty rolls run to over 50,000 names, while studies of contemporary publications and reports put the actual figure for all casualties, including caused by disease, at 97,000. 
The King's South Africa Medal was awarded only to those troops on active service during 1902, and who had served for at least 18 months by the end of the war on 31 May 1902. This service did not have to be continuous. For example, men who were invalided out of South Africa prior to January 1902 but who returned and served any time between January 1902 and May 1902 received the medal, provided they had completed the 18 months aggregate qualifying service. 
Two clasps were awarded:
While the qualifying criteria meant that most King's South Africa Medals were awarded with both clasps, there were exceptions. Those who served in South Africa but left in 1900, for example due to wounds, and who returned in 1902 would receive the medal with the 1902 clasp only, providing they had completed a total of eighteen months service. Nursing sisters qualified for the medal, but not the clasps, being the only recipients to receive the medal without a clasp.  
Those who qualified for the 1901 and 1902 clasps, but not for the King's South Africa Medal, received the clasps with the Queen's South Africa Medal.    
Even with continuous service, a recipient would have had to have served from 1 December 1900 to have 18 months service before the war ended on 31 May 1902. As a result, the majority of participants qualified for the award of the Queen's South Africa Medal only.    While most of those qualifying for the King's South Africa Medal served with the British Army, a number of others also received the medal:
Service afloat off South Africa did not qualify, with only 31 medals awarded to the Royal Navy. 
By 1902 most contingents from the Dominions had returned home, with only 154 medals awarded to Canadian forces  and approximately 200 to New Zealanders. 
A total of 587 nursing sisters received the medal without clasp,  including six New Zealand nurses, among which Janet Gillies. 
The King's South Africa Medal is a silver disk, 38 millimetres (1.5 inches) in diameter and 3 millimetres (0.12 inches) thick. 
The obverse shows King Edward VII, in Field Marshal's uniform and facing left, with the legend "EDWARDVS VII REX IMPERATOR" around the upper perimeter. 
The reverse shows Britannia holding the Union Flag in her left hand and a laurel wreath in her right hand. In the right background are troops marching inland from the coast. In the left background are two men-of-war, with Neptune's Trident and Britannia's shield on the ground in the foreground. Around the top perimeter are the words "SOUTH AFRICA". The reverse is identical to the third version reverse of the Queen's South Africa Medal, with the wreath almost touching the "F" of "AFRICA".  
The clasps were attached to the suspender and to each other in roller chain fashion with rivets.  
The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide, with an 11 millimetres wide green band, a 10 millimetres wide white band and an 11 millimetres wide orange band. As was often done with subsequent campaign medals, the colours of the ribbon represent those of the countries in which the campaign took place, green and white for the South African Republic and orange and white for the Orange Free State. 
The recipient's name and details were impressed on the rim of the medal, with some officer's medals engraved. 
Campaign medals are not listed by name in the order of wear prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, but are grouped together as taking precedence after the Queen's Medal for Chiefs and before the Polar Medals, in order of the date of the campaign for which awarded. 
Second Boer War campaign medals are worn after the Ashanti Medal and before the Africa General Service Medal and in the following order: 
Even though the Boer Republic awards for the Anglo-Boer War, the Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst (Decoration for Loyal Service) and the two campaign awards, the Medalje voor de Anglo-Boere Oorlog (Anglo Boer War Medal) and the Lint voor Verwonding (Wound Ribbon), were instituted on behalf of King George V by the Governor General of the Union of South Africa, the Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst is not listed in the British order of wear and the two campaign awards would therefore most likely also have been excluded.  The South African order of precedence of the Second Boer War campaign medals, in order of the date of the campaign for which awarded, is as follows: 
In the South African order of wear, in respect of British campaign medals applicable to South Africa, the King's South Africa Medal takes precedence before the Natal Native Rebellion Medal.
On 6 April 1952 the Union of South Africa instituted its own range of military decorations and medals. These new awards were worn before all earlier British decorations and medals awarded to South Africans, with the exception of the Victoria Cross, which still took precedence before all other awards. Of the official British campaign medals which were applicable to South Africans, the King's South Africa Medal took precedence as shown.   
An overview of South African military decorations and medals, which form part of the South African honours system.
The South Africa Medal (1853) is a campaign medal instituted in 1854, for award to officers and men of the Royal Navy, British Army and locally recruited Cape Mounted Riflemen, who served in the Cape of Good Hope during the Xhosa Wars between 1834 and 1853.
The Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal is a British campaign medal which was awarded to members of the Cape Colonial Forces who took part in three campaigns in and around the Cape of Good Hope, in Basutoland in 1880–1881, in Transkei in 1880–1881 and in Bechuanaland in 1896–1897.
The Natal Native Rebellion Medal was a British campaign medal. It was authorised in 1907 for service in Natal during a Zulu revolt against British rule and taxation in 1906. The 1906 Clasp to the medal was awarded to those who had served for more than fifty days.
The Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst, post-nominal letters DTD, is a South African military decoration. It was instituted in 1920 as a retrospective award for Boer officers of the 1899–1902 Second Boer War.
The Medalje voor de Anglo-Boere Oorlog is a South African military campaign medal. It was instituted on 21 December 1920 as a retrospective award for Boer veteran officers and men who fought in the 1899–1902 Second Boer War.
The Lint voor Verwonding is a South African military campaign award. It was instituted on 21 December 1920 as a retrospective award for Boer veteran officers and men of the 1899–1902 Second Boer War who had been wounded in action.
The Danie Theron Medal, post-nominal letters DTM, is a military decoration which was instituted by the Republic of South Africa in 1970 and which was in use until 1993. It was awarded for diligent service in the Commandos, the rural defence component of the South African Defence Force. Originally reserved for officers, it was available to all ranks from 1975.
The Jack Hindon Medal, post-nominal letters JHM, is a South African military decoration which was instituted in the Republic of South Africa in 1970 and which was only in use until 1975. It was awarded to other ranks for diligent service in the Commandos, the rural defence component of the South African Defence Force.
The De Wet Decoration, post-nominal letters DWD, is a military long service decoration which was instituted by the Republic of South Africa in 1965. It could be awarded to members of the Commandos, the rural civil defence component of the South African Defence Force, for twenty years of efficient service and good conduct. The decoration was initially reserved for officers, but it was made available to all ranks in 1986. A clasp could be awarded after thirty years service.
The Queen's South Africa Medal is a British campaign medal awarded to British and Colonial military personnel, and to civilians employed in an official capacity, who served in the Second Boer War in South Africa. Altogether twenty-six clasps were awarded, to indicate participation in particular actions and campaigns.
The South Africa Medal (1880), often referred to as the Zulu War Medal, is a campaign medal instituted in 1880 and awarded by the British Government to members of the British Army, Royal Naval Brigade and Colonial Volunteers who were involved in a series of South African tribal wars in the Cape of Good Hope, Colony of Natal and Transvaal between 1877 and 1879, most notably for the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.
The Efficiency Medal was instituted in 1930 for award to part-time warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men after twelve years of efficient service on the active list of the Citizen Force of the Union of South Africa. At the same time, a clasp was instituted for award to holders of the medal upon completion of further periods of six years of efficient service. The medal superseded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal.
The John Chard Medal is a military long service medal which was instituted by the Union of South Africa on 6 April 1952. Until 1986, it was awarded to members of the Citizen Force of the South African Defence Force for twelve years of efficient service and good conduct. The period of qualifying service was reduced to ten years in 1986.
The National Cadet Bisley Grand Champion Medal is a military medal which was instituted by the Republic of South Africa in 1987. Originally named the Cadet Corps Grand Champion Shot Medal, it was awarded to the Grand Champion of the annual National Cadet Bisley of the School Cadet Corps.
The De Wet Medal is a military long service medal which was instituted by the Republic of South Africa in 1987. It was awarded to members of the Commandos, the rural defence component of the South African Defence Force, for ten years of efficient service and good conduct.
The Closure Commemoration Medal is a military commemoration medal which was instituted by the President of the Republic of South Africa in 2010, to commemorate the disbandment of the Commandos, the rural defence component of the South African National Defence Force.
In the Colonies and Boer Republics which became the Union of South Africa in 1910, several unofficial military decorations and medals were instituted and awarded during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The Kimberley Star is an unofficial private campaign medal which was instituted by the Mayor of Kimberley in 1900. The medal was awarded to all who took part in the defence of the diamond mining town during the four months in 1899 and 1900 while Kimberley was besieged by Boer Republican Forces during the Second Boer War.
In the Colonies and Boer Republics which became the Union of South Africa in 1910, several unofficial military decorations and medals were instituted and awarded during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps Medal is an unofficial private campaign medal which was instituted in 1899 by Lieutenant Colonel S.H. van Diggelen, the founder and Commanding Officer of the Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps, for award to the officers and men of his unit.
In 1895, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various British military decorations and medals and to award them to their local military forces. The Colony of Natal introduced this system in August 1895 and, in 1897, instituted the Distinguished Conduct Medal (Natal), post-nominal letters DCM.