19 September 2010

China War Medal 1900


Awarded to those who took part in actions against the Chinese in the China War of 1900-1901, more commonly referred to as the Boxer Rebellion.

36mm diameter silver medal. The obverse portrays the crowned and veiled head of Queen Victoria, the legend VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX. The reverse depicts an array of trophies arranged under a palm tree. In the centre is a shield displaying the Royal Arms, and above the whole, the legend, ARMIS EXPOSCERE PACEM [translated as, they demanded peace by force of arms]. CHINA 1900 appears in the exergue.

The obverse of the medal was designed by G W de Saulles and the reverse by William Wyon RA (1795-1851).

32mm wide; crimson with yellow edges.

Suspension: Bold
Plain, straight swivelling suspender.

Medals to the Royal Navy were impressed in block capitals, others indented in thin block capitals and running script.

Three clasps were issued and these are detailed below. The maximum number of clasps appearing on any one medal is two.

Awarded for the action of 17th June 1900 when the Taku Forts were captured by the allied naval force.

Awarded for the actions between 20th June and 14th August 1900.

Awarded for the actions of 10th June to 14th August 1900.

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

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul,

    I found this blog post of yours about the China Medal and hope you might be able to help solve a family mystery for me. According to family stories, my great grand uncle Henry James Butler (or sometimes James Henry or Jack) served in the British Navy on board the HMS Alacrity during the Boxer Rebellion in 1899. We own a photo of Henry James in his British Navy uniform with an HMS Alacrity cap on. Research has led me to the battle of Taku Forts (which the HMS Alacrity was a part of) and the China Medal (which I believe Butler may have received). The story goes that Butler was "decorated by Queen Victoria herself" for his part in saving the life of the boy child emperor of China. But this seems unlikely. Or is it? We own an original photograph of the boy Emperor of China, which perhaps lends credibility to the story. So, I suppose the help I'm asking of you is layered.

    1. Did Queen Victoria ever award medals in person?

    2. I've searched all over the web/archives and can't find any service records for HJ Butler at all... any suggestions?

    3. I can't find any information about the boy child emperor of China being involved in the Boxer Rebellion - the timing is off. Any thoughts?

    4. I know your area of expertise is war medals, but in your opinion, how rare is an original photograph of the Boy Emperor of China? Or, do you know any experts in this area you could direct me towards?

    Any help you can give to shed light on this family mystery would be greatly appreciated.

    Most sincerely, Carolyn Egerszegi, Canada (I can be reached at carolynegerszegi [@] gmail.com. Thank you!)


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