So I was speaking to a guy at a militaria fair today (which disappointingly almost no boer war items except one QSA and one KSA medal between 60 odd stalls haha) and he suggested that why not for the meanwhile get a high quality reproduction and get it enscripted with name/number/regiment and fitted with the clasps (of which my ancestor had 3)
Is anyone albe to help recommend how I can go about doing this? I'd like it done professionally and in that case could I borrow your expertise for details that I should include, as I am aware that there is for example a large variety of different inscription text styles and I havnt a clue which one I should use?
Buying a good replacement reproduction is an option.
I have seen them listed on Ebay and also reproduction clasps.
I would suggest a decent jeweller?engraver could do the job, but the down side may be the material the repro is made of for the outcome of the engraving.
As for style of QSA engraving it is all listed on this site here is a link
Never give up hope of finding your ancestors medals I have been lucky enough to aquire to family sets in the last two weeks.
"From a billow of the rolling veldt we looked back, and black columns were coming up behind us."
There is a seller on eBay who advertises reporoduction medals and clasps so that would be an option as Paul suggests.
Another route may be to purchase an erased, original QSA and add the clasps you need to it. This would be more expensive but would be closer to what your ggf would have received. Companies like Dixon Medals will be able to provide original clasps and affix then to the medal is a very professional way.
Another option would be to buy a medal with the same clasps as your ggf and hold this as an example of what he received. You will also be preserving the medal for future generations if you if you went down this route.
And, as Paul suggests, keep on the lookout for the original QSA. I remember a couple of years ago I undertook some Boer War research for a person and remembered the surname as it was unusual. Looking through a sales catalogue that came out a few months later, up popped this name and it turned out to be the very same man. I couldn't believe the coincidence. The QSA was subsequently purchased at auction and it was re-united with the family. They were very happy!
Yes I have thought of the buying a complete reproduction one and am now not so sure, as I was under the impression that it would be a relatively cheap ordeal however I calculated that by the time I brought the medal, the 3 clasps (all silver), paid for postage, then got it engraved it won't be costing considerably less than an actual QSA.
I like your idea David of actually buying a QSA with the same clasps, as like you said it can temporarily represent my ancestors and if I then actually find his medal I can sell the QSA on for a good price (which I can then use to purchase my g.g.grandfathers medal), I probably wouldn't be able to generate back as much money for a randomly inscribed replica.
Out of interest - I was reading about de-faced medals, now if I was to buy a very similar QSA this is something that I would NEVER dream of doing as it would almost be like eradicating someone from history - however, if I saw an already de-faced medal on the market, i suppose I wouldn't feel any guilt in then inscribing my G.G.grandfathers details into it. Would any of you think this was then in any way acceptable? Or would it be no different from erasing the original name yourself? Also do many often appear on the market and when they do am I right in thinking that they are a lot cheaper? (I know this is a sensitive subject And please don't misunderstand me that I think it is an acceptable practice - I don't)
And yes I will never stop looking for it until I have it in my hands (p.s would be great if you guys could all keep your eyes peeled too haha) (it is: 6367 PTE W.WRIGHT . RIFLE BRIGADE)