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Cape Colony: Boer War: Siege of Beaconsfield Children’s Medal

Cape Colony: Boer War: Siege of Beaconsfield Children’s MedalCape Colony: Boer War: Siege of Beaconsfield Children’s Medal
Cape Colony: Boer War: Siege of Beaconsfield Children’s MedalCape Colony: Boer War: Siege of Beaconsfield Children’s Medal
Form: Circular. Silver medal suspended from a claw mount with ring for a ribbon. White metal medal pierced with a ring and a second to link the medal to a long narrow red-white-blue ribbon tied in a bow.
By: ?
Date: 1900
Ref:  AM: 24; Hern: 62; Laidlaw: 0188;
Variations:
SizeMetalMassValue
38.7 mmSilver$400
38.7mmWhite Metal15.0gm$180

Edge: Plain.

Obverse: The full-figure of the Roman Goddess Pax extending an olive branch in her right hand, cradling a cornucopia in her left and standing on a small plinth. Beneath in an arc: “PEACE”. Legend above: “CHILDREN’S MEDAL PRESENTED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL” and below between stops: “1900”.

Reverse: Coat of Arms of Beaconsfield with motto: “FORTI NIHIL DIFFICILE (nothing difficult for the strong)” on a ribbon below. Legend above: “SIEGE OF BEACONSFIELD” and below: “♦ 14 OCTOBER 1899 ♦ 15 FEBRUARY 1900 ♦”

Notes: At the outset of the South African War the residential township of Beaconsfield and the town of Kimberly, were besieged by Boer forces because of local diamond mining and their strategic location on the railway line from the Cape to the north. The siege lasted for four months without surrender before relief came from a British cavalry detachment led by General French.

The medal was commissioned by the Mayor of Beaconsfield, Mr J.M. Pratley. The white metal medal was presentation to the children of all races in the township. The presentation ceremony was delayed until the end of 1901 because of the war continued longer than had been anticipated; even then the “Peace” celebrated by the medal was still several months away.

The image of Peace would appear to have been syled after the 1801 Napoleonic, “Paix de Lunéville” medal by Andrieu.