Rhodesia: British South Africa Company: Matabeleland Campaign

Rhodesia: British South Africa Company: Matabeleland CampaignRhodesia: British South Africa Company: Matabeleland Campaign
Form: Circular
By: R.C. Woodville (Rev) / Heaton Mint, Birmingham
Date: 1893
Ref:  MYB: 138; Laidlaw: 0156;
36.4 mmBronze28.2 gm$150

Edge: Plain.

Obverse: Old head bust of Queen Victoria, left. Legend: “VICTORIA REGINA”

Reverse: Male lion, wounded in the chest by a spear, charging forward to the left over discarded shield, knob-kerrie and spears. Legend above: “MATABELELAND 1893” and below: “BRITISH (across) / SOUTH AFRICA COMPANY”.

Notes: The medal relates to the wars that eventually led to the establishment of Rhodesia. The British had intervened in July 1893 when the impi of King Lobengula (1870-1894) of the Matabele attacked the people of the Mashona tribe. The Matabele retaliated against the British but their weapons were no match for the British Maxim guns. The British South Africa Company occupied Bulawayo on the 4th November, 1893.

Identical medals in silver were issued as campaign medals, named on the edge, to soldiers who participated in this war. This copper medal is a specimen strike.

The reverse design is by Richard Caton Woodville (1856-1927), the British artist responsible for many nationalistic military paintings including the well known “Gentleman in Kharki”.