6 November 2010

The Hong Kong Plague Medal

Not technically a British Army medal because it was given by the Hong Kong Community to those who assisted during the 1894 plague in Hong Kong. However, as the majority of recipients were soldiers, and as the medal is included in British Battles and Medals, it gets a mention here.


The silver medal was awarded to around three hundred members of the Shropshire Light Infantry and fifty members of the Royal Navy and Royal Engineers as well as to members of the local police. Around 40 medals were struck in gold and awarded to civilians and nursing sisters (nine).

36mm diameter medal issued in silver and gold (see above). The obverse portrays a soldier warding off the angel of death whilst a female figure tends to the plague-stricken patient. The words HONG KONG appear in Chinese characters to the left of the soldier, and in the exergue, on a scroll, is the date 1894. The medal was designed by Frank Boucher and this is also indicated to the left of the exergue. The reverse of the medal carries the central text, FOR SERVICES RENDERED DURING THE PLAGUE OF 1894, and around the edge within a beaded border: PRESENTED BY THE HONG KONG COMMUNITY.

32mm wide; Red with yellow edges, and with two thin yellow stripes running down the centre.

Suspended by a 11mm diameter ring which runs through a loop soldered onto the top of the medal

In thin indented capitals which give rank, name and regiment but not number.

None issued.

Image courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb. British Battles and Medals has been invaluable in putting together the information.

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