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Africa General Service Medal, with bar for Jubaland, awarded to AB Seaman C. Spear, 1901

Africa General Service Medal, 1901

Obverse, a bust of King Edward VII

Africa General Service Medal, 1901

Reverse, Britannia with lion gesturing right to sun on horizon

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Africa General Service Medal, 1902-1910

Numerous actions in the British-controlled parts of Africa were felt to merit the award of a medal, but not a distinct one for every action. The Africa General Service Medal replaced the East and West Africa Medal which had previously been awarded for service in this theatre. Bars were awarded for a variety of small campaigns, sometimes only one expedition and sometimes rather more complex operations.
This medal was awarded to the British forces involved in an operation against the Dervish forces of the so-called `Mad Mullah', Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, at Kismayu in modern-day Somalia. These included not only Army troops, but Marines landed by three Royal Navy vessels to supplement the Kismayu garrison, and the crews of those ships also.
This medal was awarded to Able-Bodied Seaman C. Spear, of the 2nd-class cruiser HMS Magicienne. Lester Watson purchased it from the London dealers Spink at some point before 1928.