RARE 1894 HONG KONG PLAGUE MEDAL SILVER WILLIAMS SHROPSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY CHINA
Offered is an original and rare Hong Kong Plague Medal for 1894.
Features a silver medal, with the obverse showing a soldier man fending off a figure of Death who is aiming his spear at a plague-stricken Chinese man laid on a table. A woman, symbolising Charity, has her right hand on the patient’s heart and her left hand holding a bottle of medicine. On the left the words ‘Hong Kong’ in Chinese characters. A scroll contains the date 1894. The reverse contains two inscriptions ‘For services rendered during the plague of 1894’ and ‘Presented by the Hong Kong Community’. To the rim, correctly impressed named to PRIVATE J. WILLIAMS, S.L.I. (Shropshire Light Infantry).
The accompanying paperwork shows him to be confirmed on the award roll, being the only recipient of that name, as part of what was famously known as the ‘White Wash Brigade’, these being the brave soldiers who helped the hospital staff and sanitation authorities to clean, carry patients and disinfect the affected areas.
This medal was issued by the government of Hong Kong and awarded to members of the Army and Navy, together with some civilians, for services during the outbreak of bubonic plague in the colony between 5th May and 3rd September 1894. The award was not allowed to be worn in uniform as this was not a service medal. The medal was issued in gold to officers and senior civilians, and in silver for other recipients. Approximately 40 gold and 350 silver medals were issued. The main recipients of this award were 300 men of the Shropshire Light Infantry. There were other awards, approximately 50, to the Royal Navy, Royal Engineers and civilians, including policemen and nurses.
This medal has previously been catalogued for sale at Glendining’s in1929 & Spink in 1953 and 1986.
||20 x 15 x 5 cm