Victoria (1837-1901); ruler; Queen of Great Britain 1837-1901
Saulles, George W. de; artist; British artist and medallist, 1862-1903
Victoria regina et imperatrix; ruler; with the title of
Lester Watson Collection
East and Central Africa Medal; denomination
British Army; subsubsubseries
British rule in East Africa was partly achieved via the British East Africa Company, which acquired possessions in Uganda that the Government took over in 1895, and partly through an agreement with Germany in 1890 which had assigned a German protectorate in what is now Kenya to the Company. Subsequent British attempts to provide a modern transport and revenue infrastructure, at the expense of traditional local custom (or indeed just at the expense of locals) resulted in varying degrees of unrest, and for campaigns against such difficulties Queen Victoria approved this medal in 1899.
The bar 1898 refers to a campaign during that year against Somali rebels which was carried out in the Ogaden region, which was finally annexed to Ethiopia in 1948 and has been disputed between that country and what is now Somalia ever since. In 1898 however the area was mostly part of British Somaliland, the rest having been ceded to Ethiopia in 1897.
This medal was awarded to Private Mir Arab of the 27th Bombay Light Infantry, part of the Indian Contingent in Africa. Lester Watson purchased the medal from the London dealers Spink at some point before 1928.
London, mint, place
weight, 40.09, g
diameter, 35.9, mm
loan; 2005; Cambridge in America
Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, bt Spink before 1928
design; obverse; VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX; Queen Victoria facing left holding sceptre
design; reverse; Britannia left with trident standing right before lion, gesturing to sky
Watson Catalogue; 95
Hayward, John (author, C20th). Birch, Diana. Bishop, Richard. 2006. British Battles and Medals 7th edn.London: Spinkp. 405-406, 407
British and other Campaign and Gallantry Medals From the Collection of Lester Watson (d. 1959).
East & Central Africa (1897-9) (1898): 1203, Pvt. Mir Arab, 27th Bombay L. Inf.
Object Number: LW.0085
(Coins and Medals)
(record id: 141296; input: 2007-03-27; modified: 2009-11-23)