Military Wiki
Queen's South Africa Medal
Queens South Africa Medal obv.jpg Queens South Africa Medal rev.jpg

Queens South Africa Medal 1899-1902 ribbon.png
Obverse (top left) and reverse (top right) of the medal.
Awarded by United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Type Campaign medal
Eligibility Service in South Africa between 11 October 1899 and 31 May 1902
Awarded for Service
Campaign Second Boer War
Clasps 26
Established 1900
The Queen's South Africa Medal (Boer War).jpg
Example of medal with five clasps.

The Queen's South Africa Medal (QSA) was awarded to military personnel who served in the Boer War in South Africa between 11 October 1899 and 31 May 1902. Units from the British Army, Royal Navy, colonial forces who took part (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India and South Africa), civilians employed in official capacity and war correspondents. The QSA (without bar) was also awarded to troops who guarded Boer prisoners of war at the POW camp on the island of St. Helena. Troops on the Mediterranean islands were awarded the Queen's Mediterranean Medal, and some personnel on troopships got the Transport Medal.

The QSA was the medal issued to all who served in South Africa up to the end of the war in May 1902. This included those such as the New Zealand 10th Contingent who arrived in Durban in May 1902, and did not fight. The requirements for the King's South Africa Medal meant that few were issued.


There are twenty-six different clasps added to the medal indicating each action and campaign of the Second Boer War. A “state” clasp was issued for service within that state when no “battle” clasp was issued to the recipient for a specific action within the same state. This meant a QSA medal could not carry both a “state” clasp and a “battle” clasp for actions within the same state. Recipients could not get both the "Defence" and "Relief" clasps for Mafeking, Kimberley or Ladysmith. The "Rhodesia" clasp was not issued with the "Relief of Mafeking" clasp, nor were the "Cape Colony" and "Natal" clasps issued together (except for Pte. Wingell, a Royal Marine attached to the Army [1]).

State Clasps

  • WITTEBERGEN - 1–29 July 1900
  • CAPE COLONY – 11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902
  • NATAL – 11 October 1899 and 11 June 1900
  • RHODESIA – 11 October 1899 – 17 May 1900
  • ORANGE FREE STATE – 28 February 1900 – 31 May 1902
  • TRANSVAAL – 24 May 1900 and 31 May 1902
  • SOUTH AFRICA 1901 – Awarded to those not eligible for the King's Medal although they had served at the front between 1 January and 31 December 1901.
  • SOUTH AFRICA 1902 – Awarded to those not eligible for the King's Medal although they had served at the front between 1 January and 31 May 1902.

WITTEBERGEN is a BATTLE CLASP,and not a State Clasp

A Dictionary of Southern Africa Place Names 
           by P.E. Raper 
           Head of Onomastic Research Centre
           Human Sciences Research Centre(HSRC), Pretoria
           First published 1987
           ISBN 0-947464-04-2

Witteberge: A mountain range in the Orange Free State extending some 40 km from north to south

           in an S-shape, west of Fouriesburg and south-west of Bethlehem. The name is derived
           from Dutch and means 'white mountains'- from the winter snowfalls.

Battle Clasps

(showing which 'state' the battle was in)
  • DEFENCE OF MAFEKING 13 October 1899 – 17 May 1900 (CC)
  • DEFENCE OF KIMBERLEY 15 October 1899 – 15 February 1900 (CC)
  • TALANA 20 October 1899 (Natal)
  • ELANDS-LAAGTE 21 October 1899 (Natal)
  • DEFENCE OF LADYSMITH 3 November 1899 – 28 February 1900 (Natal)
  • BELMONT 23 November 1899 (CC)
  • MODDER RIVER 28 November 1899 (CC)
  • RELIEF OF LADYSMITH 15 December 1899 – 28 February 1900 (Natal)
  • TUGELA HEIGHTS 12–27 February 1900 (Natal)
  • RELIEF OF KIMBERLEY 15 February 1900 (CC)
  • PAARDEBERG 17–26 February 1900 (OFS)
  • DRIEFONTEIN 10 March 1900 – Awarded to troops serving with Army Headquarters and LtGen French's column which advanced from Popular Grove on 10 March 1900 (OFS)
  • WEPENER 9–25 April 1900 (OFS)
  • RELIEF OF MAFEKING 17 May 1900 (CC)
  • JOHANNESBURG – Awarded to those troops who, on 29 May 1900, were north of an east and west line through Klip River Station and east of a north and south line through Krugersdorp Station (Transvaal)
  • DIAMOND HILL 11–12 June 1900 (Transvaal)
  • WITTEBERGEN 1–29 July 1900 (OFS)
  • BELFAST – Awarded to troops who, on 26 or 27 August 1900, were east of a north and south line drawn through Wonderfonein, and west of a north and south line through Dalmanutha Station, and north of an east and west line drawn through Carolina (Transvaal)
  • LAING'S NEK 12 June 1900 (Natal)


  • A circular, silver medal, 1.52 inches (39 mm) in diameter. The obverse shows a crowned and veiled effigy of Queen Victoria, facing left, with the legend VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX.
  • The reverse has Britannia depicted holding the Union Flag in her left hand and a laurel wreath in her right hand. In the right background are troops marching to the coast and in the left background are two men-of-war. Around the top are the words SOUTH AFRICA. The first medals, awarded to Strathcona's Horse, bore the dates 1899–1900. The dates were removed from subsequent medals because the war continued beyond 1900. Some medals still show the 'ghost' of 1899–1900. There is also a further variation to be found on the reverse of these medals. On some the wreath held by Britannia points to the letter "F" of AFRICA, whilst on others it points to the letter "R".
  • The ribbon is 1.25 inches (32 mm) wide, and consists of five stripes: red (5 mm), dark blue (5 mm), orange centre, dark blue (5 mm), and red (5 mm).
  • Bronze medals were issued to non-enlisted personnel (including Indians), though some silver medals were issued to native troops.


  1. Campaign Medals of the British Army 1815-1972 by Robert W. Gould (1972, Arms and Armour Press, London) ISBN 0-85368-515-0

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