Canada & The South African War, 1899-1902

Canadian South African War Insigna
Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0M8
Tel. (819) 776-8600
toll-free 1-800-555-5621


The Queen's South Africa Medal

Boer War Medal, The Queen's South Africa Medal. 19830041-057
The Queen's South Africa Medal.

All members of British or colonial forces who served in South Africa during the actual period of hostilities, 11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902, qualified for the Queen's South Africa Medal. Twenty-six bars were issued to denote participation in particular battles or campaigns. Approximately 178,000 Queen's South Africa Medals were issued, including 3 802 to those serving in Canadian units. These units collectively qualified for 16 bars, though few Canadians earned more than five.

The effigy of Queen Victoria appears on the Obverse while the original design for the Reverse optimistically bore the dates 1899-1900, though the war dragged on until 1902. Few of these early medals were issued, and most were presented to Strathcona's Horse in London in 1901. Most other Canadians received their medals and bars in Canada through the mail. The name of the recipient, with the individual's service number, rank, and unit were impressed along the edge of the medal.