In 1899 the Boers, descendants of Dutch settlers, declared war on the British forces. Enthusiastic civilians throughout the Australian colonies volunteered for service, supported by their respective colonial governments. After Federation Commonwealth units were also mobilised. Others who were unable to join Colonial or Commonwealth units enlisted in forces raised by other nations including Britain and South Africa. The first joint colonial regiment, the Australian Regiment, was formed from companies representing Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. The British gradually wore down Boer resistance, and peace was declared on 31 May 1902. Over 15,000 Australians served in the Boer War. Australian casualties totalled about 1400, with 518 killed. Six Australians were awarded the Victoria Cross for their bravery.
Children in schools around the different colonies of Australia (this was prior to Federation) raised money to hold Peace picnics. Wodonga's Peace picnic was held at the racecourse. Only about 70 of these medallions were struck. They were presented to the children who raised the most money for the Peace picnic in each area.
This artefact has local, national and international significance as it recognises the first major international conflict in which Australian colonial soldiers were involved,
A small medallion issued in commemoration of peace at the end of the Boer War. There is a hole through the top so that it can be attached to a chain or clip.
Inscriptions & markings
OBVERSE SIDE: At centre within line circle veiled head of Queen Victoria facing left, at top of circle, crown, at sides Australian and Royal flags; below, WODONGA 1900
REVERSE SIDE: Within wreath, IN / COMMEMORATION / OF / PEACE / BRITISH BOER / WAR / "LEST WE FORGET"
- The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) An Australian Perspective Information and images outlining Australia's involvement in the Boer War from the website of the Australian Boer War Memorial in Anzac Parade, Canberra.