Rhodesia: Independence, Ian Smith / Zimbabwe Ruins

Rhodesia: Independence, Ian Smith / Zimbabwe RuinsRhodesia: Independence, Ian Smith / Zimbabwe Ruins
Form: Circular. Proof-like.
By: John Pinches, London
Date: 1967-8
Ref:  Laidlaw: 1068a;
38 mmSilver35 gm$75

Edge: Plain. Stamped with the maker's mark: "JP" and the London hallmarks for 1967-8.

Obverse: Bare head of Ian Smith, left and slightly front. Legend above: "RHODESIA" and below: "1965". Stamped below the bust with the issue number. This medal: "S161".

Reverse: Ruins of Great Zimbabwe. Tree trunk on left, branch across above with clouds. Legend above between stops: "INDEPENDENCE" and below: "FREEDOM.PEACE.JUSTICE".

Notes: Comes inside a blue oblong case lined on the inside with white silk-like and blue velvet-like material. The case contains two medal with the same issue number, this medal and a smaller medal with the same obverse but different reverse (Laidlaw 1068b).

Rhodesia declared unilateral independence (UDI) from Britain on 11th November 1965. During Second World War Ian Smith was a fighter pilot who fought for Britain (as did many other Rhodesians). The choice of Armistice Day for the UDI symbolised the bitterness of betrayal that many Rhodesians felt towards Britain.