TOPIC: COMMEMORATIVE MEDALLION SCANDINAVIAN CORPS AT MAGERSFONTEIN 1899
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALLION SCANDINAVIAN CORPS AT MAGERSFONTEIN 1899 7 years 11 months ago #3650
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALLION SCANDINAVIAN CORPS AT MAGERSFONTEIN 1899
QUARTERED ARMS OF THE SCANDINAVIAN NATIONS WITH SURROUND INSCRIPTION "AT MINNET AV DEN SKANDINAVISKA KAREND STRID VID MAGERSFONTEIN 1899".
VIKING LONGBOAT AT SEA, AND LOWER INSCRIPTION, "DE KEUNDE ICKE VIKA BLOTT FALLA KUNDE DE."
MAKER: C. C. SPORRONG & CO.
SIZE: 90 mm
REMARKS / HISTORY:
1. REVERSE, ROUGH TRANSLATION: "THEY COULD NOT SURRENDER ONLY FALL (DIE)."
2. OBVERSE ROUGH TRANSLATION: FOR THE MEMORY OF THE SCANDINAVIAN CORPS BATTLE AT MAGERSFONTEIN, 1899.
The following was sent to me by a member of another forum and is used for information / reasearch purposes only.....
The Scandinavian Corps in South Africa
(An edited translation of a chapter in "Svenska Frivilliga" by Lars Ericson)
The Scandinavian Corps was founded just before the outbreak of hostilities at a meeting in Pretoria. Recruiting was mainly among Scandinavian miners around Johannesburg, but the corps also contained a number of sailors. The corps was mounted, and in 1899 they consisted of 9 officers and NCOs and 104 ORs. (45 swedes, 24 danes, 18 finns, 13 norwegians and 13 others)
The CO was Captain Axel Christer Helmfrid Uggla (a railway engineer) from Sweden. On 16th October 1899 about 50 men of the corps paraded for President Krüger before leaving for the front. His second in command was fellow Swede (from Sundsvall) Erik Ståhlberg, the only officer who was a trained officer. Lieutenant Ståhlberg got about a week to try to give some basic military training to the force, where previous military- weapons- or equestrian training was scarce.
The corps tasks were mainly sabotage operations, but they also took part in the Siege of Mafeking and the battles at Magersfontein an Paardeberg.
The were present at the siege of Mafeking, were they served as mounted infantry and clearing mines laid by the defenders. They also demolished railway lines and took horses from the british. The second in command, Erik Ståhlberg wrote in 1901 after coming home about the siege: "The bombardment continues day after day. But it is not impossible getting new friends on the opposite side. Sundays and holidays hostilities cease and it is possible to meet the British in all friendliness, swapping meat for whisky!"
At the end of November the Scandinavian corps were part of the force sent out to meet the relief column. On 9th December the boer forces had entrenched themselves on a ridge, with the Scandinavians along with two other Boer detachments entrenched as outposts. The Scandinavian force was 3 officers and 49 men. Their task was to give warning and delay a British attack.
On 11th December, the Highland Brigade attacked. Captain J. Allum in the Scandinavian trenches tells: "It was a rainy, dark night, the men suffering from the cold, which at this time of the year can be severe. Everything was quiet until around 4.30 in the morning, when a few shots were heard on our right. Then silence for a couple of seconds, perhaps a minute that seemed to us, waiting tensely, as an eternity. It was so silent you could hear your heartbeats. Suddenly a firestorm broke out at the foot of the hill on the Boer right flank, and in the next second the mauser's began to smatter, the wounded screamed and the English hurrahs and commands sounded. This went on for about 15 minutes, then silence fell anew. The first assault was beaten back with heavy losses. The Boers had let the English, marching in formation, come very close before opening a devastating fire."
I front of the Scandinavians were 4000 of the Higland Brigade: Black Watch, Seaforths, Argylls and the Highland Light Infantry. After the assault had been broken, the British artillery commenced firing. Before the next infantry attack. The Scandinavians were, according to Captain Ståhlberg, firing 18-20 aimed shots a minute. After half an hour firing 200 men of the Seaforths had worked around the Scandinavian right flank, and the losses among the defenders ros. After renewed attacks with the bayonets the position was overwhelmed. 17 men had tried a countercharge, but only eight Scandinavians managed to get back in the boer lines, the rest killed or wounded. Everyone of the prisoners had been wounded.. It then appeared that the fight had been the result of a mistake. At 3.00 General Cronje had ordered the outposts to get back, but this had never reached the Scandinavians.
Captain Ståhlberg again: "After three hours our resistance is broken. Our CO, Captain Flygare falls in the beginning of the battle, shot in the heart. Lieutenant Berentsen is wounded and man after man falls, drilled by bullets. The Highland Brigade, with the Gordons on the right encircles us. In the final act they fell over us like hungry vultures, and our resistance is over. Carl Albert Olsson from Gothenburg tries to save his brother Edvin, shot in the head by pulling him under cover. He is attacked by two scots whose heads he smashes with the rifle butt, only to fall from several bayonet wounds.
The Swedish nurse Elin Lindblom, serving with the Scandinavian ambulance with the Boers tells: "Early in the afternoon came the seven men who had succeeded in escaping in the battle at Magersfontein (11), six unscathed, a Dane, Krohn, shot in the heel. The rest of the 49 Scandinavians who had been sent to the forepost, were dead or wounded and the wounded were prisoners with the English.
Our ambulance men had gone out with the wagon and in the evening they brought some of the wounded Scandinavians with them, among them Appelberg. He was shot in the stomach and died after a few days and he was buried after a post-mortem examination by a German surgeon. But during the whole day wounded Boers had come in one after the other, some of them wounded who needed bandaging to return to the battle, some in such a state that we had to find place for them in the tent as best as we could. The most seriously wounded man, apart from Appelberg, was perhaps a Boer, named Sauer, who was shot through the throat, and we feared that the spine was injured.
We washed and bandaged them as best as we could and gave them water and food. A mobile ambulance cannot do much in these cases, but it was better than nothing. Our tent was entirely full by the evening. The battle continued uninterruptedly and it was impossible for our ambulance men to go to the battlefield where our men had fallen. It became quiet only after three o'clock on Tuesday afternoon and then they could go there, where they found eighteen dead and two wounded; all the others had been brought by the English to their ambulance. The wounded were two Finns, Backman and Viklund, who were in such a bad state that the English had bandaged them provisionally and left them on the battlefield. They had considered them as hopeless. We also thought this, when they were brought to us on Tuesday evening. Backman was delirious with three bullets through the leg, the whole legbone splintered by a bomb, one bullet in the breast and out through the back which was fearfully torn; it was a miracle that he had not bled to death. Viklund was seriously shot through his tender parts and had one flesh wound in the arm as well as heatstroke owing to sunburn. We feared that his spine was injured. They had lain on the battlefield from 5 o'clock Monday morning to 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon in the burning sun and bitter night cold, robbed of all their clothes. For even here pillagers are found. We had a German surgeon who had no ambulance to work for and helped us to bring those who could be transported, to the hospital. The nearest hospital was at Jacobsdal, one day's travel away or a little farther from our spot. They were sent toJacobsdal with some of our men. Because Viklund was so seriously wounded we thought it better to keep him with the ambulance until we could see how his condition developed."
The dead were buried on the battlefield, where a monument was erected in 1908.
After Magersfontein the Scandinavian Corps was sent to Bloemfontein, where they reorganized and received 80 men as reinforcements. They were part of General Cronjes command, which capitulated at Paardeberg on 27th February 1900. The Scandinavian POW were sent to St Helena, three of them escaping before the ship left Simonstown. Two let himself be buried in the sand while bathing, and a third jumped overboard with a lifebelt and a knife. All three reached the boer lines safely. The Scandinavian ambulance continued to serve until the end of the war.
In 1920, 15 members of the Scandinavian corps received the medal "voor de anglo-boeroorlog" at a ceremony in Stockholm, three of them nurses. Another 30 Swedes got their medal at the South African legation in Stockholm 1937, six of them receiving a "Dekoratie Voor Trouwe Dienst" as well.
The monument, which still stands at Magersfontein, was an initiative of the Swedish officer Erland Mossberg, who had served in the Cape Town Town Guard during the war. He was an officer originally in "Jämtlands Fältjägare" (translates roughly as "Jämtland Rifles"), the medical officer of Jämtlands Fältjägare was Josef Hammar, who hade served in the boer forces. Mossberg started to collect subscriptions for a monument. The money were quickly raised, with support of national newspapers. The monument consists of a 6.5 metres high steel, with four corner stones 15 metres high representing the different Scandinavian countries. The names of the men killed is on the monument, which was inaugurated on 25th april 1908 by Pime Minister (and former Boer general) Louis Botha, an honour guard of the Kimberley Regiment present. The monument is placed some distance away from the scene of the actual battle, as the land owner of the battleground ( a scot) didn't want a monument to former enemies.
The countries are represented by different inscriptions:
SWE: De kunde icke vika, blott falla kunde de (They could not falter, only fall)
DK: Nu hviler deres ben bag höjen Bautasten. (Now their bones are resting beneath high stele)
FI: På tappra män ser tappra fäders andar ner. (On brave men, brave fathers spirits looks down)
NO: Nu tier stridens larm paa valen, I mindet lever heltens ry (Now the battles din is silent on the ramparts, in the memory lives the heroes reputation)
Killed in the battle or DOW: 11 December 1899 Magersfontein
1 Goetterup, Arthur, Naskov
2 Jacobsen, Peter Marius, Köpenhamn
3 Olesen, Frede, Torskind
1 Kruts Gustavsson, Matts, Nykarleby
2 Mattson, Emil, Nykarleby
3 Hägglöf, Henrik, Wexala (avliden 14 dec)
1 Dahlén, Johannes, Larsnäs
2 Nielsen, Oluf, Drammen (avliden 12 dec)
3 Olsen, Einar, Mandal
1 Ahlström, Conrad, Lilla Malma
2 Andersson, Julius, Stockholm
3 Appelgren, Carl David, Oskarshamn, fältkommissarie
4 Benson, Albert, Göteborg
5 Benson, Edvin, Göteborg
6 Flygare, Johannes, Natal, Captain
7 Johnson, Nils Alfred, Brunsby, sergeant
8 Landgren, Oscar August, Göteborg
9 Lindström, Emil, Ronneby
10 Mark, Oswald, Göteborg
11 Nykvist, Nils Harald, Göteborg
12 Olsson, Carl Albert, Göteborg
13 Osberg, Fredrik, Göteborg
14 Stael von Holstein, Otto, Kristianstad
1 Lindeberg, Gustav
2 von Rassau, Frans
Nominal roll of known participants in the Scandinavian corps:
Sw = Sweden
Fin = Finaland
Abrahamsen, A.B. R. (Nor)
Ahlström, Conrad F (Sw) ( Died 11/12/1899)
Ahlström Carl (Sw)
Allum, Captain Julius (Nor)
Andersen, Anders (Nor)
Andersen, Thorvald (Dan)
Andersson, J.C.W. (Dan)
Andersson, Johan Alfred (Sw)
Andersson, Carl Gustav (Sw)
Andersson, Julius (Sw) ( ? 11/12/1899)
Andersson, Pontius Alexus (Sw)
Andersson, H (Sw)
Appelgren, Carl David (Sw) (? 13.12.1899)
Backman, Otto (Fin)
Backman, Otto (Fin)
Baerentzen, William Joseph (Dan)
Bagger , H (Dan)
Bakman, Sunnion (Fin)
Benson, A. Edvin (Sw) ( ? 11/12/1899)
Benson, C. Albert (Sw) ( ? 11/12/1899)
Berg, Ernest (Sw)
Bergstedt, K. Pedersen (Nor)
Bergström Oscar (Sw)
Besseling, Johannes Reinierus (S)
Björkman, Axel (Sw)
Blombergsson, Elof A (Sw) (? 18/02/1900 Paardeberg)
Breckan, Thomas (Nor)
Burén Nils (Sw)
Carlsson, Carl Albin (Sw)
Cederström, Baron Oscar Frederick (Sw)
Christense, Wilhelm (Dan)
Christensen, Jens F. (Dan)
Christensen, Gotthardt (Dan)
Christenson, S.W. (Sw) (died 24/01/1900)
Clason, Axel (Sw)
Claudelin Adolf Wilhelm (Sw)
Dahlen, Johannes (Nor) (diedMagersfontein, 11/12/1899)
Dahlquist, Frederick (Sw)
Eggeling, N (Sw)
Einhardt, Rudolf (Sw)
Eklund, Johan Alfred (Sw)
Eliasson, Hans Peter (Sw)
Erikson, Isaac (Fin)
Erikson, H. (Sw)
Eskilson, Erik A (Fin)
Fägerskjöld, Baron Helge Alex (Sw)
Field, Einar (Nor)
Flindthoff, J.F. (Sw)
Flygare, Johannes (Sw) (died Magersfontein 11/12/1899)
Fredericks, S.A. (Dan)
Friis, Jens Jörgen (Dan)
Friis, Aage Jens (Dan)
Fröhling, C.G.A. (Sw)
Frölén, Lars (Sw)
Fromén, Georg Wilhelm (Sw) (died 24/01/1900)
Goetterrup, Arthur (Dan) (died Magersfontein 11/12/1899)
Grafvert, Gustav Adolf (Sw)
Gustafsson, Axel Wilhelm (Sw)
Gustafsson, Carl (Sw)
Gustafsson, Matts (Kruts) (Fin)
Gustafsson, Wilhelm (Sw)
Hägglöf, Henrik (Fin) ( died 14/02/1899)
Hallberg, Theoblad J. (Dan)
Hammar, Josef (Sw)
Hammerstrand, Albert F (Sw)
Hansen, Adolf (Nor)
Hansen, Karl M (Nor)
Hansen, Emil Ferdinand (Dan)
Hanson, A (Sw)
Hatcher, Rymond (Sw)
Hedberg, E (Sw)
Hoyer, A.G. (Nor)
Huet, Gustav (Sw)
Hult, Gustav Adolf (Sw)
Hultin, Carl (Sw)
Ihlen, C. (Nor)
Jacobsen, Peter Marius (Dan) (died Magersfontein 11/12/1899)
Janek, Hjalmar Petterson (Sw)
Johansson, Per Erik (Sw)
Johansson, Jacob (Fin) (died St Helena 11/09/1900)
Johansson, Charles O. (Sw)
Johansson, David (Sw)
Johnnson , H (Sw)
Johnson, Herman (Fin)
Johnsson, Erik (Fin)
Johnsson, Nils Alfred (Sw) ( died Magersfontein 11/12/1899)
Johnsson, Ole (Nor)
Jörgensen, H. J (Dan)
Jungmarker, Viktor (Sw)
Kemp. Charles I (Sw)
Kielland, Hjalmar (Nor)
Knauer, Harald (Dan)
Knutsen, Charl (Nor)
Korhenen, Gabriël (Fin)
Kramer, Maurits (Sw)
Krohn, Peter (Dan)
Landby, H. (Sw)
Landgren, Oscar August (Sw) (diedMagersfontein, 11/12/1899)
Lang, Carl Magnus (Sw)
Larsen, Einar (Dan)
Larsen. Hans (Nor)
Larsen, Ludvig Holge Christian (Sw)
Laursen, Laurs (Dan)
Lindblom, A.S. (Sw)
Lindblom E.C. (Sw)
Lindquist, Arthur (Fin)
Lindström, Emil (Sw)(diedMagersfontein, 11/12/1899)
Lindström, Otto Erik (Sw))
Lindwall. Karl (Sw)
Lundberg, J. (Sw)
Mark, Osvald August (Sw) (diedMagersfontein, 11/12/1899)
Matson, Mats (Fin)
Mattson, Emil (Fin) (died Magersfontein 11/12/1899)
Mellquist, Carl Emanuel (Sw)
Michelsen, C.J. (Nor)
Michelsen, Frans H (Dan)
Mickelson, Johan (Fin)
Möller, August Gustav Otto. (Dan)
Mortensen, J. (Dan)
Nepken, Dobe (Dan)
Nielsen, Carl Peter (Sw)
Nielsen, Hans Peter Christiaan (Unknown)
Nielsen, Ingvold Schröder (Nor)
Nielsen, I.E.P.S. (S)
Nielsen, Jens (Dan)
Nielsen, L (Nor)
Nielsen, Matts (Fin) ( died St Helena 07/06/1901)
Nielsen, Oluf (Nor) (died Kimberley 21/07/01)
Nielsen, Peder Hans Christiaan (Dan)
Nielsen, Sören (Dan)
Nilsen, N O. (Nor)
Nordahl, Evrard (Sw)
Nykvist, Nils Harald (Sw) (diedMagersfontein, 11/12/1899)
Nyman. Jan (Fin)
Odman, Andrew John (Sw)
Ohlson, Charles (Sw)
Ohlsson, John Martin (Sw)
Oleson, Frede (Dan) (died Magersfontein 11/12/1899)
Olsen, Einar (Nor) (died Magersfontein, 11/12/1899)
Olsen, Johannes (Nor)
Olsen, J. P. (Dan)
Olson. Anton (Sw)
Olsson, Carl Albert (Sw) (diedMagersfontein, 11/12/1899)
Onsum, Axel Frank (Nor)
Osberg, Fredrik (Sw) (diedMagersfontein, 11/12/1899)
Overland, Johannes (Nor)
Paulsson, Ole (Nor)
Pedersen, Carl (Nor)
Petersen. Peter (Fin)
Petersen, Jörgen Peter (Dan)
Petterson-Janek, Hjalmar (Sw)
Randers, E.R. (Sw)
Randers, Norman (Nor) (died Magersfontein)
Rank, Johannes (Fin)
Rasmussen, Sofus J.L. (Dan)
Raw, Aage (S)
Reinholdt, W.H. (Dan)
Reismüller, H.G. (Sw)
Rohdin, Hugo (Sw)
Ronning, Andreas (Nor)
Rossan, G.L (Sw)
Rubech, Ludvig (Dan) (died Jacobsdal, 17/03/1900)
Rudbeck, August B. (Sw)
Ruthström, John Rudolf (Sw) (died Modder River, 15/02/1899)
Rydholm. Carl Herman (Sw)
Rydström. John (Sw)
Samuelsson. Carl (Sw)
Sandoen, N. (Nor) (died 24/01/1900)
Sauer, Louis (Dan)
Schaedtler, Victor (Dan)
Schaedtler, O. (Dan)
Schiönning, Aage From (Dan)
Schmidt, Carl (Dan)
Schröder-Nielsen, Peter Einar Ingvald (Nor)
Schutz, John (Fin)
Schultz, Carl Paul Frederick (Nor)
Söderström, Johan Axel E. (Sw)
Stålberg, Erik (Sw) (died Magersfontein)
Stael von Holstein, Otto (Ole) Wilhelm (Sw) (died Magersfontein, 11/12/1899)
Steenberg, Schack (S)
Steenberg, Anders Wilhelm (S)
Sten, J (Sw)
Stenberg, A. W. (Fin)
Stenberg, Schack August (Dan)
Stenros, Karl Anders (Fin)
Stolze, Wilhelm Ludwig (Sw)
Svensson, Hildur Charlotta (Sw)
Svensson, Johan Emil (Sw)
Thomsen, Julius (Dan)
Thorén, Arthur (Sw)
Ueckerman, Sigurd (Nor)
Uggla, Axel Christian Helmfrid, comdt (Sw)
Van Aken, Johannes Arnoldus (Sw)
Von Holstein, Stael (Sw)
Van Kal, Hugo Cornelis (Sw)
Viklund, Johan Niklas (Nils) (Fin)
Walldon C.O. (Unknown)
Wallenberg, Nils (Sw)
Wehlan, Frank (Sw)
Werner, I.E. (Sw)
Werner, Sven Erik (Sw)
Widhom. F.V. (Fin)
Wiklund, Andreas (Fin)
Wiklund, Johan Nikolas (Sw)
Winberg, Anders, Efraim (Sw)
Wipam, William (Sw)
Military Historical Society
The following user(s) said Thank You: djb, Charl
Re: COMMEMORATIVE MEDALLION SCANDINAVIAN CORPS AT MAGERSFONTEIN 1899 7 years 11 months ago #3653
There is no naming on the edge......
From City Coins description of one sold in their auction held July 24th 2011..... Lot Number 719.......
The late Dr. H.M. Stoker mentioned in an article in De Nummis No 3, 1960 that between 1925 and 1960 a total of 29 medallions were struck. Of these, two were in silver and 27 in brass. One of the silver examples was presented to " Lord Baden Powell… from admiring Scandinavians" on 7 Aug. 1935.
Four brass examples (probably unnamed) went to unknown collectors and named examples are known to Gen. Jan Smuts, Advocate Oswald Pirow and Dr .S.N.F. Gie (the last two for their part in facilitating the award of five DTDs and 34 ABOs to Scandinavians in 1936/37).
The big thing is that they do not say if ALL of the 27 brass medallions were named or not..... The only marking on the edge is the makers name C.C.SPORRONG and CO.....
P.S. I must add that the one sold by City Coins is also un-named.....
Military Historical Society
Re: COMMEMORATIVE MEDALLION SCANDINAVIAN CORPS AT MAGERSFONTEIN 1899 7 years 7 months ago #6070
I found this account of a visit to Magersfontein in 1901. The author recorded how he and his companions covered exposed remains believed to be of Scandinavian volunteers.
“A HUCKNALLITE VISITS THE BATTLEFIELDS.
“In a letter received last week from Mr. Henry Winfield (son of Mr. F. Winfield, Byron House, Hucknall), he says:- “Things in this country have not begun to look up very much. I suppose these little raids will go on for some considerable time as our men don’t seem to be able to get hold of the Boers, though they keep coming across their tracks here and there. Only about a week ago the train from Vryburg to Kimberley was fired on by the Boers and one man killed; but they are only in small parties, and are of little real danger. All round Bloemfontein fighting is going on almost daily, and that place is running short of stores I hear. Last Sunday three of us – one of the Diamond Field Horse, a telegraphist, and myself – walked out five miles to Carter’s Ridge, where one of the hottest engagements took place during the siege – between the Kimberley forces and the Boers. The Boers’ redoubts are still standing, and our friend of the Diamond Field Force pointed out all the interesting spots, and related many striking incidents of the engagement. I have seen many interesting mementos of the siege, such as Boer shells, Mausers, etc. Plenty of dead horses are lying round Carter’s Ridge even now.
“I think I told you I intended having a ramble over the battlefield at Magersfontein. We arrived at the siding, where we had to detrain for Magersfontein, about 4.30 a.m. Then we proceeded to the ruined and deserted farm, and filled up our water bottles at the well there and proceeded to discuss breakfast. We had a sparklet bottle with us, and were very glad of it, for the water was poor and insipid till aerated. Breakfast finished we proceeded to tramp to the trenches. We arrived at the first trench (Boer) about 6.30 a.m. The Boer trenches there extend from Magersfontein to Jacobsdal, a distance of about 25 miles. They are most interesting to explore. We picked up various pieces of shell (shrapnel), etc. and plenty of empty cartridge cases – one of these off the grave of the Highlanders. We saw the spot where Wauchope fell and where the Highlanders were cut up (and obtained a bit of barbed wire which impeded them); also the spot where the Scandinavian contingent (Boers) were cut up. They are buried on the same spot as they fell. So shallow are they buried that the boots, and in one or two cases the shins also, protrude through the ground. We buried all these gruesome relics with stones, and left them to rest quietly with nothing but a few stones to mark the grave. The graves of the Highlanders and Household Brigade are finished off very nicely with white stones and well fenced off with a rough wooden cross over each grave.
“We climbed two of the kopjes. One of them was the one from which Cronje watched the battle of Magersfontein. The natural formidability of these kopjes cannot be fully described. They are composed of large blocks of ironstone, and are difficult to climb under ordinary conditions. These kopjes command an extensive stretch of flat veldt reaching far beyond [the] Modder River, and I am not at all surprised that our men were unable to turn the Boers out of these positions. The kopjes and the veldt show numerous signs of the heavy shelling we gave the Boers, and in one portion one can plainly see where one of the Boer magazines in the trenches was blown up by our shells.”
‘Rushcliffe Advertiser’, 11th January 1901.
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALLION SCANDINAVIAN CORPS AT MAGERSFONTEIN 1899 1 year 4 months ago #61890
Good Morning Everyone.....
I have been contacted by a fellow collector who has one of these medallions which is also Un-Named.....
Military Historical Society
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALLION SCANDINAVIAN CORPS AT MAGERSFONTEIN 1899 1 year 4 months ago #61925
Below is the text that accompanied the example that I sold at City Coins
Commemorative Medallion of the Scandinavian Corps : Magersfontein 1899
Engraved in upper case on rim: “Till Sune Lindström vilken komponerat denna jetong”
This extremely rare item is not recorded in HH or AM (patinated brass, 92mm, some discoloration, in damaged circular box of issue)
At Magersfontein, on 11 December 1899, fifty men from 4 Nordic Countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland) fought for the Boer Cause under the common name “Scandinavian Corps”. 41of them were killed or wounded in the intense fighting.
25 years later, Maj-Gen Gustav Lindström, Chairman of the Stockholm Rifle Association, propagated the idea of a medallion and a tri-annual shooting contest between the four countries to commemorate the heroic stand of the Scandinavian Corps. His son, the architect Sune Lindström, designed the medallion and the first contest took place in Helsinki in 1925.
According to the rules of the competition, the story of the Scandinavians at Magersfontein had to be specifically mentioned when the trophy was handed to the winning team. The medallion was given as a separate prize to the highest-scoring member of the winning team.
• Obverse: A Viking ship on a rough sea with a bright star above the horizon. Underneath: “De kunde icke vika blott falla kunde de” which can be freely translated as: “They could not give way; they could only fall”
• Reverse: A cross, as is found on the national flags of the four Scandinavian countries, divides the area in four equal parts: these quarters contain the heraldic emblems of the four nations. Around the circumference: “Åt minnet av den Skandinaviska Kårens strid vid Magersfontein 1899”, freely translated as “In memory of the Scandinavian Corps’ battle at Magersfontein, 1899”. At the bottom “SL 25”
The late Dr H M Stoker mentioned in an article in “De Nummis” No 3, 1960 that between 1925 and 1960 a total of 29 medallions were struck. Of these two were in silver and 27 in brass.
One of the silver examples was presented to “General Lord Baden Powell… from admiring Scandinavians” on 7 Aug. 1935.
Four brass examples (probably unnamed) went to unknown collectors and named examples are known to Gen Jan Smuts, Advocate Oswald Pirow and Dr S N F Gie (the last two for their part in facilitating the award of five DTD’s and 34 ABO’s to Scandinavians in 1936/37).
As I mentioned at the start of the write-up the City Coins example was named on the rim, as translated "To Sune Lindström, who designed this medallion"
I still have the bronze example to Dr Gie, named AAN ZYNE EXCELLENTIE D:R S.F.N. GIE, ENVOYE DER ZUID AFRIKAANSCHE UNIE, ZWEDEN in the original box of issue, as well as the hall-marked silver one to Baden-Powell. This came in a specially made fitted blue case with gold embossing and is named GENERAL LORD BADEN POWELL COM. IN CHIEF AT MAFEKING, FROM ADMIRING SKAND:NS. With it was a sturdy label, reading on one side "Commemorative Medal of the SCANDINAVIAN CORPS which fought against us in the Boer War 1900" and on the other side "Presented in their behalf by Mr. Uggla at Stockholm 7 Aug 1935"
My scanner is at present "acting-up" a bit. I will later post some images, also of the style of naming. This is of interest as the engraving is identical with that on a DTD/ABO pair that I have to a Scandinavian Officer, Lt L H C Larsen which was issued in Scandinavia. Forsyth erroneously listed him as "Scandinavian Corps": he actually served in Edwards' Scouts till mid 1900. His Vorms "A" & "B" were approved by Dr Gie
The following user(s) said Thank You: djb, QSAMIKE, Charl
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