Queen’s South Africa Medal, bar Defence of Mafeking, Private J. Kelly, Mafeking Town Guard and Cattle Guard.
Officially impressed: “J. Kelly Mafeking Town Gd:” One edge bruise at 6’oclock otherwise excellent preserved condition, little wear overall.
Provenance: Spink December 2001, DNW June 2002 and Liverpool Medals October 2002.
Confirmed on the medal roll of the Mafeking Town Guard.
Also signed up as Regimental Number 29 Trooper J. Kelly with the Mafeking District Mounted Troops, but is crossed through on the medal roll as already “Received Medal M.T.G., Town Guard & Cattle Guard”
There were only 3 “Kelly”s in the Mafeking Town Guard, M. Kelly Senior, M. Kelly Junior & this man, J. Kelly, so they are possibly a family, for further research.
There are 26 different "Bars" or "Clasps", the most famous and rare of all being the Defence of Mafeking, to the brave defenders of the town during the most famous siege of the war.
Out of 178,000 Queen's South Africa Medals issued, only about 1307 of them were entitled to wear the Defence of Mafeking Clasp, only about 1,166 being issued in total.
The Boer War began on 11th October 1899, the next day Mafeking had its telephone lines cut and the railway blocked under order of General Piet Cronje. The town was then encircled and the residents trapped inside for many months.
In Command of the town was the famous Robert Baden-Powell, who afterwards founded the Boy Scouts.
The town was shelled most days but they managed to hold out somehow.
Apparently Baden-Powell has sowed the seeds of doubt in the enemy, having planted fake minefields and having soldiers pretend to avoid fake barbed wire which prevented the Boers from invading.
The Siege was lifted on 17th May 1900, Baden-Powell became a national hero and was promoted to Major General.