Queen’s South Africa Medal 5 Clasps – Cape Colony, Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, and Laings Nek to 839 Pte. J. Leedham of the Rifle Brigade
Condition – E.F.
J. Leedham landed in South Africa with the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade in November 1899. The 1st Rifle Brigade was placed in General Lyttleton’s Fourth Brigade of the 2nd Division and were to embark on the Relief of Ladysmith. The first action that Pte. Leedham was to be involved in was the disastrous Battle of Colenso on 15th December 1899. The Relief of Ladysmith involved the capture of various Heights above the Tugela River. The first action during the New Year was the Battle of Vaal Krantz, which took place between the 5th and 7th February 1900. This hill was stormed by Lyttleton’s Brigade and heavy losses occurred. Following this, the 1st Rifle Brigade was to take part in the Battle of Monte Cristo between 15th and 18th February and Pieters Hill on 23rd February 1900. The Rifle Brigade’s final advance took place on 27th February when the last hill before Ladysmith was captured. The 1st Bn. Rifle Brigade casualties during the Relief of Ladysmith amounted to 30 killed and 163 wounded.
In the march to Pretoria in June 1900, the Rifle Brigade took part in the final major engagement at Laing’s Nek. Altogether during the Boer war, the 1st Rifle Brigade’s losses were 54 killed and 307 wounded.
The medal is sold with a copy of the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade’s medal roll showing that Pte. J. Leedham was entitled to 5 clasps on the Queen’s South Africa medal.