The Natal Native Rebellion Medal was a British campaign medal that was authorised by the Natal Government and King Edward VII on the 9th May, 1907 to those who had taken part in the suppression of the Zulu Rising in 1906.
It is stated that the cause of the rebellion was the native refusal to pay hut taxes, followed by the murder of two Natal policemen on 8th February, 1906. The revolt continued until colonial troops managed to surround the rebels at Mome Gorge. Between 3,000 and 4,000 Zulus were killed during the revolt, some of whom died fighting on the side of the Natal government. More than 7,000 were imprisoned, and 4,000 flogged.
The medal was only issued in silver, and is the only medal which bears the sovereign’s head facing to the right
To qualify for the Natal Native Rebellion Medal, a solider or policeman had to serve in the field for at least 28 days between 11th February, 1906 and 3rd August 1906. Those who had served for 50 days or longer, which most recipients did, qualified for the ‘1906’ Clasp to the medal.
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 - Crimson with black bands down the edges.
Type – Military campaign medal
Eligibility - Military and Police Forces
Awarded for - Campaign service
Campaign - Bambatha Rebellion, 1906
Established – 1907
Total awarded – 9,622
Designer – Designed and manufactured by the Goldsmiths and silversmiths Co., London.
Naming – Impressed in thin block capitals.
Suspender – Straight (plain)
Clasps – One issued
Description: A 36mm in diameter circular silver medal. The obverse of the medal depicts the uncrowned head of King Edward VII facing right, surrounded by the legend "EDWARDVS VII REX IMPERATOR" around the perimeter. The reverse displays in the centre figures of Britannia and Natalia. The former is holding an orb of the empire, surmounted by the figure of Peace in her hand, and Natalia is holding a large sword in her right hand against a background of a landscape with Zulu huts and the sun emerging from behind storm clouds. In the exergue is the word “NATAL”
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.
Those who served for 50 days on active service were awarded the bar ‘1906’ and 9,622 medals were issued about 20% being without bar.
Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’
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