Rhodesia Medal

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Rhodesia Medal
Rhodesia Medal.pngRhodesia Medal reverse.png
Obverse and reverse of medal
TypeCampaign Medal
Awarded for14 days of service in Rhodesia between 1 December 1979 and 20 March 1980
Presented byUnited Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Kenya
EligibilityCivilians, police, and military personnel who participated in the resolution of Zimbabwean independence
EstablishedAugust 1980
TotalCirca 2,500,[1] including 152 to Australians[2]
Rhodesia Medal Ribbon.svg
Ribbon bar of medal
Next (higher)Varies by country
Next (lower)Varies by country

The Rhodesia Medal was initiated by the British Government in consultation with Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Kenya,[3] whose forces took part in Operation AGILA (Operation MIDFORD for the New Zealand forces). The role of the multi-national force was to keep peace between 22,000 guerrilla fighters and the Rhodesian forces during the ceasefire and run-up to the 1980 elections.

Each country treats the medal as part of its own honours system.


The medal was awarded for service of at least 14 days between 1 December 1979 and 20 March 1980, to members of the military and police forces, as well as eligible civilians, who participated in monitoring the ceasefire and supervising the elections in the lead-up to Zimbabwean independence.[4] There was no minimum qualifying period for those killed, wounded or disabled due to service, or where a recipient was decorated for gallantry.[3]

Recipients of the Rhodesia Medal also received the Zimbabwean Independence Medal in either silver or bronze,[1] although British personnel did not have permission to wear it in uniform,[5] while New Zealand granted approval for restricted wear only.[6]


Issued by the Royal Mint, the Rhodesia Medal had the following design:[1]

  • It is circular, made of rhodium-plated cupro-nickel and 36 mm in diameter.
  • The obverse features the crowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II with the inscription 'ELIZABETH II DEL GRATIA REGINA FID.DEF'.
  • The reverse depicts a sable antelope surrounded by the inscription 'THE RHODESIA MEDAL' and '1980'.
  • The medal was issued named to British armed forces personnel, but unnamed to police officers.[4]
  • The medal is suspended from a 32 mm sky-blue ribbon with three central stripes of red, white and blue.
  • No clasps were awarded.


Country Preceding Following
Australia Australia
Australian Honours Order of Precedence[7]
Australian Service Medal Police Overseas Service Medal
New Zealand New Zealand
New Zealand Honours Order of Precedence[6]
New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Warlike) w/clasp 'Vietnam' New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Non Warlike) w/clasp 'Indian Ocean'
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Order of wear[8]
National Crime Agency Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Royal Ulster Constabulary Service Medal

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Joslin, Litherland and Simpkin. British Battles and Medals. pp. 265–6. Published Spink, London. 1988.
  2. ^ John Mussell, ed. (2013). Medal Yearbook 2013. Honiton, Devon: Token Publishing. p. 393. ISBN 978-1908828002.
  3. ^ a b "The Rhodesia Medal Regulations". The Stationery Office. August 1980. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b John Mussell, ed. (2015). Medal Yearbook 2015. Honiton, Devon: Token Publishing. p. 201. ISBN 978-1908828163.
  5. ^ The Zimbabwean Independence Medal is not mentioned in the official British order of wear.
  6. ^ a b "The Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table – A Guide to the Correct Order of Wear". New Zealand Defence Force. 8 February 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  7. ^ "The Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards" (PDF). 25 September 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  8. ^ "No. 62529". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 January 2019. p. 327.

External links[edit]