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Trooper G. Hamer’s South Africa Medal

Object Number: R00785

The Queen’s South Africa Medal was instituted by Queen Victoria in 1900 for award to military personnel and civilian officials who served in South Africa during the Second Boer War from 11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902.  Approximately 178,000 medals were awarded.  This medal was awarded to 239 Trooper G. Hamer of the Queensland Mounted Infantry (QMI) for service in the 2nd Boer War, and includes campaign bars for South Africa 1901, Rhodesia, Transvaal, Orange Free State, and the Relief of Mafeking.

This QMI regiment was formed in 1860 by the first Governor of Queensland, Sir George Ferguson Bowen. During the famous 1891 Queensland Shearers Strike these troops were placed on full time duty for five months and served in the Barcaldine, Clermont, Longreach, and Charleville districts.

To prove their horsemanship, they took to chasing emus and would pluck a feather from the emu to place the in the puggaree of their felt hats. The Queensland Government allowed the Mounted Infantry to wear the emu plume in recognition of their service during the strike. At first it was solely a Queensland decoration, but after federation the privilege was extended to all regiments of the Light Horse.

This medal was donated to the collection by the E. Hamer estate in 1983.