Archive for East Africa

Commemorative Medal for the Ethiopian Patriots who Resisted the Italian Invasion and Occupation of 1935 to 1941

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)The last of the Ethiopian medals for the moment, this is a circular dark bronze medal with loop and isosceles trapezium-shaped ribbon bar bearing an Amharic inscription; the face with the heads of two warriors facing right, a flintlock rifle and bugle below, all within a cartridge belt; the reverse plain stippled; on a replaced ribbon in the Ethiopian national colours.

The medal was created after the Ogaden war of 1977-1978 with Somalia to commemorate the Ethiopian patriots who fought against Italian invasion and occupation between 1935 and 1941. It was designed by Colonel Tibebe Desta of the Ethiopian Air Force, a noted artist and imperial portrait painter, who organised the Grand Expo in Addis Ababa after the war with Somalia and was noted for his design of coins and medals both during the Imperial period and the Derg.

This example has the incorrect ribbon and is missing its suspension bar. Still a rare medal in any condition.

The Distinguished Military Medal of Haile Selassie I

Posted in Valour Medals with tags , , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)Another Ethiopian medal, this one a bronze trilobe medal with wreath and ribbon ring suspension; the face with a traditional Ethiopian portrait of Emperor Haile Selassie I wearing the Ethiopian Crown and circumscribed with the Amharic inscription in Ge’ez ‘Haile Selassie the First’; the reverse with crossed batons supporting a Trinity star circumscribed with an Amharic inscription in Ge’ez, on original ribbon mounted for wear with a clip with maker’s mark ‘MAPPIN & WEBB LD’ with one bronze palm bars denoting a second award of the medal. The medal was created to reward those engaged in military action against the invading and occupying Italian forces in the years 1935 to 1941 and was awarded both for acts of bravery in the face of the enemy and for long and distinguished service.

The Military Medal of Merit of the Order of St. George

Posted in Valour Medals with tags , , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)This medal is part of my small accumulation of WW2 Ethiopian medals. The Military Medal of Merit of the Order of St. George is a bronze trilobe medal with Trinity star and ribbon ring suspension; the face with an image of St. George on horseback slaying the dragon below the Amharic inscription ‘Hayal Kokebe Kibr’ (luminious star of victory); the reverse with a Trinity star with three crossed spears imposed above the date ‘1923’; three small edge knocks to the reverse, lower left, lower right and right; on original ribbon. The medal was instituted in 1923 and was the highest military decoration of Imperial Ethiopia, awarded rarely for acts of great bravery and outstanding military leadership in times of conflict.

Ethiopian 1941 Star of Victory Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on September 3, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)In 1941, with the help of British and Commonwealth troops attacking from British Somaliland, the Ethiopians were able to defeat and drive the Italian occupying army from their soil. I am interested in the East African campaigns in the Sudan, Somaliland and Ethiopia, especially the Battle of Keren.

The medal was made by Mappin & Webb, in London, and is in the shape of a Coptic Cross, surmounted by an Imperial Crown. The Star of the Trinity is in high relief in the centre. A loop is attached to the top of the medal, with a hanger, and a multi-striped red, yellow and green riband. The inscription in Amharic on the medal reads: “Star of Victory 1933 [Ethiopian calendar]. Unforgettable Achievement” and on the reverse “Star of Victory 1941”.

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Ethiopian men, carrying captured Italian weapons, gather in Addis Adaba, in May 1941, to hear the announcement of the return of the Emperor Haile Selassie.

An MBE Group to a Sudan Defence Force Officer

Posted in Groups, Rare Medals with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis group belonged to an officer in the British Army working in the Sudan and Eritrean theatre against the Italians. Interestingly enough his rank on the MBE recommendation is given as “Bimbashi” (from Turkish: Binbaşı, “chief of a thousand”) which is a major in the Turkish army, the term originated in the Ottoman army. The title was also used for a major in the Khedivial Egyptian army as Bimbashi (1805–1953). It was also used by the Serbian revolutionaries as Bimbaša (Serbian Cyrillic: Бимбаша) in 1804-1817. So I am guessing the equivalent was Major Andrew Cameron Robertson of the Sudan Defence Force.

The recommendation reads “This officer has rendered meritorious service during the last six months having been in entire charge of the M.T. Stores (American type) of all the Imperial forces in the field (Sudan command). With no other officer to assist him and with only a mixed Sudanese and Indian Staff he has earned for his work in this sphere the personal thanks of both Divisional commanders and his services have been of a high order and great value. He was responsible for the uncasing and preparation and equipping and testing and issue of all new and repaired American type vehicles, and the supply of tyres, parts and accessories for their maintenance by units and advanced repair workshops in the field – British and Indian armies, S.D.F. K.A.R. W.A.F. S.African, Free French and Belgian, Ethiopian Patriot forces included.”. It is signed by William Platt, Lieutenant General commanding troops in the Sudan and Eritrea, 14th August 1941.

The group consists of the Military MBE, the 1939-1945 Star, the North Africa Star, the Defence Medal and the 1939-1945 War medal with the device for Mentioned in Dispatches. The MBE was gazetted on the 30th of December 1941.

Robertson was granted as an emergency commission to 2/Lieut on 12th June 1940, having already been commissioned in the Khedive’s Army. This was gazetted on 5th January 1943. His service number was 254419.

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The Abyssinian Campaign Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)This medal, missing its ribbon, commemorates the Italian invasion and defeat of Ethiopia in 1936.

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The Patriots Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)This medal was instituted in 1941 and awarded to all Ethiopian soldiers and irregulars who fought against the Italian occupation between 1935 and 1941. This medal can be found with palm devices on the ribbon to mark each year the fighter was engaged.

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