South Rhodesia Medal for War Service


The Southern Rhodesia Medal for War Service was a campaign medal of the Commonwealth. It was awarded to those in the British and Commonwealth forces who served in Southern Rhodesia only during the time of their enlistment, and replaces the War Medal 1939–1945.

The medal was not issued to anyone qualifying for the campaign stars and medals.

Many Rhodesians served overseas during World War II, only 1,700 of these medals were issued.


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 – 31 mm wide, with a wide dark green centre stripe with narrow black and red vertical stripes at each edge.

South Rhodesia Medal for War Service ribbon
South Rhodesia Medal for War Service ribbon

Type – Campaign Medal.

Eligibility – British and Commonwealth forces.

Awarded for – Campaign Service.

Campaign – Second World War 1939-45.

Designer – The obverse was designed by Mr. Percy Metcalf and the reverse by Mr. T. H. Paget.

Total Awarded – 1,700

Suspender – Straight (plain)

Clasps – None issued.

Description – The medal is made of cupro-nickel and is 36mm in diameter. The obverse design bears the crowned head of King George VI, and the legend, "GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX ET INDIAE IMP:" (George VI by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India). The reverse medal design comprises the Coat of Arms of Southern Rhodesia. The shield bears a pick positioned vertically, blade uppermost, surmounted by a lion on either side of which is a thistle. The shield is supported on either side by an antelope and surmounted by an ornate crested helm. At the base a scroll bearing the motto of Southern Rhodesia, "SIT NOMINE DIGNA". Around the outer circumference of the medal is the legend "+FOR SERVICE IN SOUTHERN RHODESIA+" & "1939-1945".?


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


Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’


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