Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal, with bar for Bechuanaland, engraved to Trooper W. A. Leach; issued 1900
Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria
Reverse, coat of arms of the Cape Colony
Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal, 1900
The British colony on the Cape of Good Hope, now part of South Africa, was run by an independent administration with its own armed forces. Various risings by the African peoples of their territory resulted in a number of military actions which were thought to merit a medal for these troops, of which this was the second. The first had been the South Africa Medal for the campaign that brought the Basotho tribes under the governance of the Cape Colony.
The bar for Bechuanaland (now split between South Africa and Botswana) refers to lengthy fighting in 1896 and 1897 after a large-scale slaughter of cattle, carried out because of disease, had caused the African population there to rise in protest. The subsequent campaign took nearly a year due to well-armed and well-fortified opposition and acute difficulties on the part of the Imperial forces with water supplies.
This medal is engraved to Trooper W. A. Leach of the Despatch Service. Leach's name is not on the Roll of recipients of this medal; this may be because of the secondary character of his unit. Lester Watson bought the medal from the London dealers Spink on 12 November 1924.