George V (1910-36); ruler
Saulles, George W. de; artist; British artist and medallist, 1862-1903
Georgius V Britt. Omn: Rex et Ind. Imp.; ruler; with the title of
Lester Watson Collection
Africa General Service Medal; denomination
Royal Air Force; subsubsubseries
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.
The continuing efforts by the British to wrest control of the territories that make up modern Somalia from the so-called `Mad Mullah', Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, culminated in a fifth campaign against him in 1920, in response to several years of expansion of settlement by his Dervish forces. For the first time in Africa the forces used included not just troops and ships, but also aircraft, including floatplanes flown from the seaplane carrier HMS Ark Royal. This concentration of force drove Sayyid Mohammed and his forces back into his homeland territories, where however he continued to spurn British offers of peace, despite increasing slaughter of his forces, until his death from influenza the next year.
This medal was awarded to Aircraftman Second Class W. J. Powlesland, a member of the single flight of the Royal Air Force which were involved in this campaign. Lester Watson purchased it from the London dealer Baldwin in 1928.
London, mint, place
weight, 38.30, g
diameter, 36.4, mm
loan; 2005; Cambridge in America
Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, bt Baldwin 1928
design; obverse; GEORGIUS V BRITT. OMN: REX ET IND. IMP.; Bust of Edward facing left
design; reverse; Britannia with lion gesturing right to sun on horizon
Watson Catalogue; 24
Hayward, John (author, C20th). Birch, Diana. Bishop, Richard. 2006. British Battles and Medals 7th edn.London: Spinkp. 412-414, 426
British and other Campaign and Gallantry Medals From the Collection of Lester Watson (d. 1959).
Africa Gen. Service (Geo. V) (Somaliland 1920): 332816, AC2 W.J. Powlesland, RAF
Object Number: LW.0023
(Coins and Medals)
(record id: 141234; input: 2007-03-27; modified: 2008-12-23)