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Great Britain: Boer War: Princess of Wales’ Private Military Hospital

Great Britain: Boer War: Princess of Wales’ Private Military HospitalGreat Britain: Boer War: Princess of Wales’ Private Military Hospital
Great Britain: Boer War: Princess of Wales’ Private Military HospitalGreat Britain: Boer War: Princess of Wales’ Private Military Hospital
Form: Circular
By: Warrington & Co., London
Date: 1900
Ref:  Hern: 60; BHM: 3664; Eimer: 1846; Fearon: 351.9; Laidlaw: 0295;
Variations:
SizeMetalMassValue
57 mmSilver$1000
57.4 mmBronze82.3 gm$450
57.4 mmSilvered White Metal57.3 gm$350

Edge: Plain. Sometimes engraved with soldier's name.

Obverse: Bust of Alexandra, Princess of Wales, wearing pearl necklace and choker, left. Sea in the background with Table Mountain (left) and steamship (right). In an arc around on left: “TRANSVAAL WAR" and on right: "1899 – 1900”. Legend on a raised band: “SOUVENIR OF THE PRINCESS OF WALES' PRIVATE MILITARY HOSPITAL. THE GABLES, SURBITON”. Stop at the foot.

Reverse: A view of the hospital with the Red Cross flag flying on a pole above. On the exergue line: “WARRINGTON & CO (left) LONDON (right)”. In the exergue: “FOR SICK AND WOUNDED / FROM S. AFRICA”. Legend on a raised band: “MAINTAINED BY MR. & MRS. ALFRED COOPER AS AN ADJUNCT H.R.H.’S HOSPITAL-SHIP”. Stop at the foot.

Notes: The bronze medal here is crudely inscribed on the edge: "Pte. A. G. Worsfold, 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. Presumably Private Worsfold was a patient in the hospital. The medal coupled with his QSA medal with Cape Colony clasp was lot No. 798 at DNW auction on 13 Sep 2012 and sold for £600.

Issued inside a red case inscribed on the outside: "(Prince of Wales Plumes) / SOUVENIR / of the / PRINCESS OF WALES'S / PRIVATE MILITARY HOSPITAL. / THE GABLES, SUBERTON / 1900.". Inside, the case is lined with white silk and blue velvet. There is also a gilt embossed presentation card from Sir Alfred and Lady Cooper on which is written the name of the recipient.

These medals were struck in the autumn of 1900. The silver medals were presented to members of staff, the bronze ones were for the patients who had returned from South Africa on the HMHS Princess of Wales, and white metal ones for patients who had arrived from other locations such as Netley.

The Gables Hospital was owned and financed by Mr Alfred Cooper. It was located in a theatre in the grounds of his property and could accommodate about 35 troops. The conversion to a hospital was completed in February 1900 and the first batch of patients, mainly those wounded at Magersfontein or Modder River, was received in March. The hospital was one of several “adjunct” facilities to Her Majesty’s Hospital Ship, HMHS the Princess of Wales, which brought the wounded (200 at a time) back from South Africa. Mr Cooper received a knighthood in 1901 for his philanthropic efforts.