British South Africa Company, reverse Matabeleland 1893, Troop Sergeant Major C.G. Macpherson, Victoria Column.
Officially engraved naming: “–> TROOP SERGT MAJOR C.G. MACPHERRSON. VICTORIA COLUMN <–”
One small edge knock at observe 8 o’clock, with light pawn broker marks on left side of bust, matching the medals history of being sold having been left in South Africa after leaving to fight in WW1.
The fascinating and long lost original medal to Charles Glenely Macpherson, British South Africa Company’s Police, present at Mashonaland during 1890.
Charles Glenely Macpherson was born in the Straits Settlements, Singapore during December 1860, Charles was the youngest of 9 children. he was the son of Ronald Macpherson, at the time the First Colonial Secretary but had been a Lt Col in the Madras Artillery and fought in the First Opium War earning a China 1842 medal.
In 1885, Charles joined the Bechuanaland Border Police, soon after, entering into Mashonaland as a Trooper in Captain E.C. Chamley-Turners ‘D’ Troop, British South Africa Company’s Police, having attested on 10th April 1890.
At this time he was described in the book by Hickman, “Men who made Rhodesia” as a ‘remittance man’, likely adventuring on his Father’s dime, by No 458 Trooper S. Kemp, who had accompanied him on the trip via Wagon from Kimberley to Mafeking.
On 1st January 1891, he was promoted to Corporal and was discharged from the troop on 15th October 1891.
During the Matabeleland Rebellion, he joined the Victoria Column and served as Troop Sergeant Major, being present present in the action at Shanghani on 25th October 1893 & Imbenbesi on 1st November 1893.
He then enrolled in the Natal Police in November 1898, during his time with them he earned the Queen’s South Africa Medal, with bars, South Africa 1901 & South Africa 1902 during the Boer War.
He then also served in the Natal Rebellion of 1906 with the Natal Police, earning the Natal Medal, bar 1906, as a Sergeant 2nd Class.
He also seemed to have joined up for the First World War as well when he lost his original medals.
In March 1930, MacPherson contacted the government to get the necessary paperwork to claim a replacement of “The ‘93 Matebele Rebellion Medal”, on account of him having lost his original medal as he says “During my campaigning”, then then added after completing the original form that it was “Lost at sea on the Guildford Castle when she was torpedoed.”
To support his claim of active service he stated in his covering letter that he fought Captain Nesbitt, V.C., would remember him stating, “We met at Fort Victoria about the time Lord Randolph Churchill was out there.”
Macpherson then signed for the safe receipt of his award on 15th August 1930.
By the time of his inquiry the Government had authorised the issue of the undated B.S.A. Company medal with a new bar for the Pioneer Column with bar “Mashonaland 1890” and a bar for the other campaigns so he also would have a bar for “Matebeleland 1893”, it was first introduced in April 1926, long after the first issue of the medals.
Upon receipt of his replacement medal he then explains that he actually could not return his original award since had led “left it with some people in Johannesburg” when he joined up in the Great War then saying “I am trying to trace them now as they have five medals and trunk of personal belongings of mine. Directly I get in touch with them I will get the medal and return it to you.”
It appears that he never got his trunk back, this lost medal bearing Pawnbrokers marks as they were not going to wait for his return before selling his belongings, his group likely split up when sold.
He settled in Durban and died there during November 1936, aged 76.
Out of 705 medals to be awarded to members present in 1890, only 200 were awarded, 111 of them to the B.S.A.C.P., only 11 such men were present at only Mashonaland 1890 and Matabeleland 1893.
His replacement British South Africa Company Medal, with undated reverse and the bars for Mashonaland 1890 and Matebeland 1893 were sold in Dix Noonan Webb’s salesroom in June 2009 & May 2017, when it hammered for £4216.