|Queen's South Africa Medal|
|Type||Military Campaign medal|
|Awarded for||Campaign service|
|Presented by||the Monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India|
|Eligibility||British and Colonial forces|
|Campaign(s)||Second Boer War|
|Order of wear|
|Next (higher)||East and Central Africa Medal|
|Next (lower)||Queen's Mediterranean Medal|
|Related|| King's South Africa Medal |
Cape Copper Company Medal for the Defence of O'okiep
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 Queen's South Africa Medal was instituted by Queen Victoria in 1900, for award to military personnel and civilian officials who served in South Africa during the Second Boer War from 11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902. 
Three versions of the medal are known. Since the war was initially expected to be of short duration and to reach its conclusion in 1900, the first medals were struck with the years "1899" and "1900" on the reverse. Approximately fifty of these medals were awarded before it became evident that the war was going to last much longer, and both the dies and the remaining minted medals had the years machined off. The third version was minted without the years. 
Poor logistics and disease, combined with having to fight against a disciplined and capable enemy of excellent horsemen and marksmen who perfected guerrilla warfare, made this a hard-won medal. In addition to men often having to go without basics such as food and water, enteric fever killed several thousand and was a constant drain on manpower. The 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 Queen's South Africa Medal was awarded to all British led forces who served in South Africa from 11 October 1899 to the end of the war on 31 May 1902. Those who qualified for the medal included members of the British Army, Royal Navy, hospital nurses  colonial forces from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, as well as locally raised units from the Cape of Good Hope, the Natal and "hensoppers" (collaborators, literally "hands-uppers") from the South African Republic and Orange Free State, civilians employed in an official capacity, war correspondents, and non-enlisted men of whatever nationality who drew military pay. This included those such as the New Zealand 10th Contingent, who arrived in Durban in May 1902, but saw no fighting. 
Approximately 178,000 medals were awarded. The medal, without clasp, was awarded to nurses, members of the Royal Navy who served offshore but did not land  and to the troops who guarded Boer prisoners on the island of Saint Helena. Militia troops stationed on the Mediterranean during the war were awarded the Queen's Mediterranean Medal, while Merchant Navy officers on troopships were awarded the Transport Medal. 
A separate King's South Africa Medal was instituted in 1902 by King Edward VII for those who had served in South Africa after 1 January 1902 and who had completed 18 months service in the conflict, not necessarily continuous, prior to the war's end on 1 June 1902. The King's Medal was always awarded in addition to the Queen's Medal, which continued to be awarded until the end of the war. 
Twenty-six clasps were awarded with the Queen's South Africa Medal, indicating the actions and campaigns of the Second Boer War, the maximum awarded to any one recipient being nine.  They were authorised in Army Order 94, April 1902, as amended. The clasps fall into three groups: Battle, State and Date clasps.  
Awarded for specific actions and campaigns. Recipients could not be awarded both the "DEFENCE" and "RELIEF" clasps for Mafeking, Kimberley or Ladysmith.  
For service within a state, where no Battle clasp was awarded for a specific action within that state. The "CAPE COLONY" and "NATAL" clasps were not awarded together, with "CAPE COLONY" awarded where a recipient qualified for both.   
The two date clasps (South Africa 1901 and 1902) were issued with the King's South Africa Medal, but were worn with the Queen's South Africa Medal when the recipient was ineligible for the King's Medal.   
The clasps read upwards from the ribbon suspension, with the official order of wear based on the starting dates of the applicable battle or campaign and, in the case of the four clasps with the same starting date, the duration of the campaign. Additional clasps were occasionally issued after the medal was awarded, resulting in cases of clasps not being attached, or attached in the wrong order. The correct order is shown below, with qualifying dates shown in brackets:  
A number of unofficial clasps are known to exist,  including: 
The Queen's South Africa Medal is a silver or bronze disk, 38 millimetres (1.5 inches) in diameter. The bronze medal was awarded to non-combatant Indian troops and other non-combatant men of whatever nationality who drew military pay, although some silver medals were awarded to native troops. The suspender is attached to the medal with a claw mount and a pin through the upper edge of the medal.  
The obverse shows a crowned and veiled effigy of Queen Victoria, facing left, with the legend "VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX" around the upper perimeter.  
The reverse, designed by G. W. de Saulles, 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". Three types of reverse exist.  
The clasps were attached to the suspender and to each other in roller chain fashion with rivets. Clasps were often issued after the medal, in particular those for South Africa 1901 and 1902, with the result that they were sometimes attached with unofficial rivets, or worn loose on the ribbon. 
The recipient's name and details were impressed on the rim of the medal, with some officer's medals engraved. 
About 1,500 medals were presented unnamed to members of Australian and New Zealand forces during the 1901 tour of those countries by the future King George V. Many were later named locally, either officially at public expense, or privately. 
The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide, with a 7 millimetres wide red band and a 4 millimetres wide dark blue band, repeated in reverse order and separated by a 10 millimetres wide orange band. 
Campaign medals and stars are not listed by name in the order of wear prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, but are all 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. 
In the order of wear of British campaign medals, the Queen's South Africa Medal takes precedence after the East and Central Africa Medal and before the Queen's Mediterranean Medal. 
The British order of precedence of the Second Boer War campaign medals is as follows: 
Even though the Republican awards for the Second Boer War, the Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst and the two campaign awards, the Medalje voor de Anglo-Boere Oorlog and the Lint voor Verwonding, were instituted on behalf of King George V by His Royal Highness, 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: 
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 Queen's South Africa Medal took precedence as shown.   
The Second Boer War, also known as the Boer War, the Anglo–Boer War, or the South African War, was a conflict fought between the British Empire and the two Boer Republics over the Empire's influence in Southern Africa from 1899 to 1902. Following the discovery of gold deposits in the Boer republics, there was a large influx of "foreigners", mostly British from the Cape Colony. They were not permitted to have a vote, and were regarded as "unwelcome visitors", invaders, and they protested to the British authorities in the Cape. Negotiations failed, and in the opening stages of the war the Boers launched successful attacks against British outposts, before being pushed back by imperial reinforcements. Though the British swiftly occupied the Boer republics, numerous Boers refused to accept defeat and engaged in guerrilla warfare. Eventually, British scorched earth policies brought the remaining Boer guerillas to the negotiating table, ending the war.
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