Cape Colony: Anglo-Zulu War: King Cetshwayo

Cape Colony: Anglo-Zulu War: King CetshwayoCape Colony: Anglo-Zulu War: King Cetshwayo
Form: Upright oval with attached suspension ring. The ribbon is long, narrow string-like blue or white.
By: ?
Date: 1879-80
Ref:  Laidlaw: 0113;
13.4 mm x 18.5 mmCast Iron0.6 gm$750

Edge: Plain. Thin.

Obverse: Cetshwayo in Zulu Chief's headdress, left. In an arc above: “CETEWAYO”.

Reverse: Across: “THE / ZULU / WAR / MEDAL”

Notes: A variety exists without reverse legend.

Cetshwayo kaMpande (c 1826-1884) was the last King of the Zulu Nation and was their leader from 1872 to 1879. He is remembered for his victory over the British in January 1879, in the early stage of the Anglo-Zulu War, at the Battle of Isandlwana. He was defeated at the Battle of Ulundi on 4 July 1979. The royal kraal at Ulundi was destroyed and shortly afterwards Cetshwayo was captured and sent first as a prisoner Cape Town Castle and then to exile on the Cape Flats. Later he traveled to England where he had an audience with Queen Victoria to plead for the restoration of his Kingdom. In the meantime, Britain had divided the Zulu Kingdom into smaller portions, each with its own chief. Civil was ensued and in 1883 the British agreed to reinstate Cetshwayo as King but over a much reduced territory in an attempt to quell the unrest. However, the civil war continued and, later that year, Cetshwayo was attacked at Ulundi by one of his rivals. Cetshwayo was wounded and fled, eventually seeking refuge under British protection at Eshowe. He died there on 8 February 1884.

It is believed that this medal was given to visitors during the King’s exile in Cape Town, probably while he stayed at Oude Molen, a farm on the Cape Flats, where he enjoyed something of a celebrity status.