Obverse: A bust of King Edward VII surrounded by the legend “EDWARDVS VII REX IMPERATOR”.

Reverse: Britannia with a flag in her left hand and holding a laurel wreath towards an advancing party of soldiers. In the background are two men-of-war. Around the edge are the words “SOUTH AFRICA”.

Size: 31mm in diameter.

Ribbon: 31mm wide. Green, white and yellow in equal widths.

Suspension: By a plain straight suspender.

Clasps Issued: 2
The clasps issued were “SOUTH AFRICA 1901” and “SOUTH AFRICA 1902”.

Queen Victoria having died during the South African War, King Edward VII authorised this silver medal to be awarded to all who were serving in South Africa on or after 1st January 1902, and who would complete eighteen months’ service before 1st June 1902.

This medal was never issued alone, but in conjunction with The Queen’s South Africa Medal, and neither was it issued without both clasps, except to nursing sisters.

The King’s South Africa Medal was not generally awarded to New Zealand troops. Only a few soldiers and nurses who had chosen to stay in South Africa, or returned with later contingents, were eligible.

A total of 170 medals were awarded to the New Zealand contingents, and six to New Zealand nurses. Some other New Zealand soldiers were awarded the medals while attached to South African units.