Military Medal, GV, 2431 Pte Mbetewa, 2/2 K.A.R., an extremely rare issue, one of 2 Askari recipients awarded for bravery at the Battle of Nambanje on 13th March 1917.
The 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment (Nyasaland), King’s African Rifles.
During the Battle of Nambanje, 3 Men received the W.A.F.F. Distinguished Conduct Medal, Company Sergeant Major Isaac, Sergeant Robin, Lance Corporal Faraji Bin Salim and Sergeant Binnon.
Only two Askari, 1769 Private Iback and 2431 Private Mbetewa earned the Military Medal.
For further information on this battle, there is an excellent writeup at the link below of the 2nd 2nd K.A.R. during 1917, at Kaiserscross.com
Their account of the action reads:
“On 13th March reports were received of a German position located at Njambanje and Brigade Headquarters ordered a combined attack to be made by 2/2 and 2/3 KAR. Captain T.J.W. Weld (Lovat’s Scouts) was sent with 80 rifles from No 4 Company and 20 rifles from No 3 Company plus 2 machine guns. Lieutenants Findlay and Champion accompanied Weld but Findlay had to return because of an attack of fever.
Weld’s men approached the enemy position during the night but could not make contact with the 2/3 KAR company allocated for the attack; it later transpired that this company bumped the enemy during its approach and withdrew, but the contact had warned the Germans that British troops were on the move. Nevertheless Weld attacked at first light. However von Lettow’s men included a 40-strong unit of Europeans, and they were well prepared. The British attack was broken up by well-sited defensive fire; German counter-attacks down both flanks captured one of 2/2 KAR’s machine guns and killed or wounded all of the other gun team. Weld withdrew with difficulty having taken 18 casualties. Nine wounded men were captured by the enemy; one of them was Lieutenant Sydney George Champion