East and Central Africa Medal (1899)

Era: 1897 - 1899

Queen Victoria approved this medal in 1899, it was a campaign medal approved for issue to officers and men of the British armed forces in East and Central Africa and superseded the Central Africa Medal 1891-8.

Unrest was caused in the area of East Africa when the British rule that was partly achieved with the British East Africa Company tried to provide modern transport and infrastructure at the expense of the locals.  This caused much upset and conflict, so Queen Victoria approved this medal for such difficulties.

It was mainly awarded for men in Military expeditions in Uganda for the Ogaden Somali War which lasted from April to August 1895, also for actions in 1899 against Kabarega in Uganda.

The medal was 36mm in diameter and made of silver, except for some bronze versions which were awarded to native troops and camp followers.


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, half yellow (to face left facing wearer) and half red.

Type – Campaign Medal.

Eligibility – British Forces.

Awarded for – Campaign Services.

Campaign – East and Central Africa 1897-1899.

Established – 1899.

Designer – G. W. de Saulles.

Naming – The recipient’s rank and name are in rather thin sloping or upright capitals.

Clasps – Four issued.

Description – The obverse of the medal held a left facing half-length figure of Queen Victoria holding the Royal Sceptre with the inscription "VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX". The reverse held an image of Britannia standing and facing right, holding a trident and palm branch and a scroll, behind her is a British lion and the rising sun. The inscription on the reverse is "EAST & CENTRAL AFRICA”

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. 

‘Lubwa’s’                                                                         (23rd September, 1897 – 24th February, 1898)

Awarded for service against 510 mutinous Sudanese troops who refused to go on an exploratory mission.  They held Fort Lubwa, where they attacked byMajor Macdonald on 12th October, 1897.

‘Uganda 897-98’                                                               (20th July, 1897 – 19th March, 1898)

Awarded for an expedition under Lieut.-Colonel W. A Broome into the Teita country.

‘1898’                                                                               (12th April – 3rd October, 1898)

            Awarded for service in the Ogaden against rebellious Somalis.

‘Uganda 1899’                                                                  (21st March – 2nd May, 1899)

Awarded to members of the forces under Major Martyr and Colonel Evatt which advanced down the Nile and defeated and captured both Keberega and M’Wanga in the Uganda Protectorate and continued on to Nandi.


This guide will help you through all the parts and descriptions of military medals


Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’

Some of the material on this page was also partially derived from

<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ East_and_Central_Africa_Medal >

Which are released under the terms of



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