A Very RARE China 1900 to the New South Wales Naval Contingent.
China 1900, J. Beddall. A.B. Sign, N.S. Wales Nav. Contgt
Correct on the original roll, and noted “Sent to C in C Australia, 6th February 1903”.
Only 257 medals were issued to the NSW sailors and only a tiny total of 554 to all the Australian naval personnel.
THE NEW SOUTH WALES CONTINGENT IN CHINA
The China-bound naval contingent left Sydney on 8 August 1900 with an impressive public send off. Ladies waved lace handkerchiefs and brass bands played. The contingents from New South Wales and Victoria travelled together on the liner S.S. Salamis to Hong Kong and from there on to Shanghai, China.
The Victoria Naval Brigade of over 200 officers and seamen comprised part of the Port Melbourne Naval and Williamstown Naval Brigades, as well as officers and men from the Victorian Navy. The Victoria Naval Brigade was commanded by Captain F. W. Tickell
They sailed in the wake of three British warships from the Australian station, the Wallaroo, the Mohawk and the Lizard.
South Australia sent its contingent of ninety-six officers and men via the 920-ton ship, PROTECTOR offering it for service to the British Admiralty for the China campaign. It was, wrote Lieutenant-Commander J. Gill, an officer onboard, probably the first ship ever to leave Australian waters for war manned by an all-Australian crew.
When they got to Hong Kong on 26 August the main contingent became attached to the ‘British Field Force in China’.
In the months ahead the men did not see a great deal of fighting but they witnessed many massacres, hideous atrocities, unrest, rioting and cruelty from all sides. Fortunately casualties were light and only six men lost their lives.
On 25 April 1901 the force arrived home in Sydney
The China Medal 1900 was awarded to members of the NSW and Victoria Naval Brigades and the crew of the South Australian Gun Boat ‘PROTECTOR’ for service in the ‘Third China War’,
Medals were issued as follows:
N.S.W. 257, Victoria 198, South Australia 98, Queensland 1.
Condition, generally NVF, except the suspension claw has been heavily tightened at some point.