Issued in 1902 and authorised by King Edward VII, the Queen's Mediterranean Medal was awarded to volunteers and militia troops who volunteered for service abroad. They had to replace their regular Army counterparts in the various military garrisons with manpower while their regular troops fought in South Africa against the Dutch Boers, after war was declared on the Cape Colony in October, 1899.
This medal was awarded for such volunteers who had served in the garrisons at Gibraltar, Malta and Egypt during the Boer campaigns and for guarding Boer prisoners. However troops on the island of St. Helena who were guarding Boer prisoners of war in the POW camp were awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal without bar.
Although Queen Victoria had died during this conflict, her portrait was still preserved on this medal, as authorised by King Edward VII. The medal is exactly the same as the Queen’s South Africa Medal except that the inscription 'SOUTH AFRICA' has been replaced by the word 'MEDITERRANEAN' on the reverse.
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 – (32 mm) wide, and consists of five stripes: red (5 mm), dark blue (5 mm), orange centre, dark blue (5 mm), and red (5 mm).
Suspension - Straight
Type – Campaign medal.
Eligibility – British Army.
Awarded for – Campaign service.
Campaign – Boer War 1899-1902.
Established – 1902
Designer – G. W. De Saulles.
Naming – Generally in indented block or sloping capitals. Some were engraved in different styles.
Total Awarded – 5,000
Clasps – none issued.
Description – A circular, silver medal, 1.52 inches (39 mm) in diameter. The obverse shows a crowned and veiled effigy of Queen Victoria, facing left, with the wording ‘VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX.’
The reverse has Britannia depicted holding the Union Flag in her left hand and a laurel wreath in her right hand. In the right background are troops marching to the coast and in the left background are two men-of-war. Around the top are the words ‘MEDITERRANEAN.’
Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’
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