Sanctioned in October, 1901 the Ashanti Medal was the first award in the reign of Edward VII for campaign service. It was awarded to all personnel who were engaged in the Third Ashanti Expedition, also known as the ‘War of the Golden Stool’ between 31st March and 25th December, 1900. The final outcome was the Ashanti maintaining its independence. Even though the Ashanti were annexed into the British Empire, they ruled themselves with little reference to the colonial power.
The Boer War was at its height at this time, so that no European troops could be spared, though there were European officers and N.C.O’s. The rest of the forces were the Ashanti Field Forces along with carriers and local levies.
Materials: The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issue in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants. The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.
Ribbons: Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed. Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.
Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.
Ribbon – 32mm wide. Black centre with two dark green stripes
Type – Campaign medal.
Eligibility – British and Colonial forces.
Awarded for – Campaign Service.
Campaign – Third Ashanti Expedition.
Established – 1901
Designer – G. W. de Saulles.
Naming – Impressed in rather small square capitals.
Suspender – Straight (plain)
Clasps – one issued.
Description – Awarded in Silver or bronze the obverse of the Ashanti Medal is the bust of King Edward VII in Field Marshal Uniform with the legend ‘EDWARDUS VII REX IMPERATOR.’ The reverse is the British Lion facing left, standing on a rock cliff, below him are the native shields and two crossed spears with the background of the rising sun, underneath the inscription ‘ASHANTI.’
Clasps are usually referred to as ‘bars’. They are single-faced metal bars carried on a ribbon attached to the medal, indicating the recipient’s service in a particular campaign or battle. The clasps carry side flanges to enable them to be attached to the medal and riveted to each other, so that new ones can be attached as earned. Usually the first earned Clasp is closest to the medal, so that the latest earned should be at the top, although they can be found in the wrong order.
Kumassi (31st March – 15th July, 1900)
Awarded to all who had garrisoned at Kumasi between 31st March and 15th July.
Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’
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