The Keith Holshausen Collection

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Date of Auction: 16th September 2010

Sold for £580

Estimate: £550 - £650

Five: African Station Sergeant James Mgambiwa Zaranyika, British South Africa Police and one of just 16 African members of the force awarded the Coronation Medal 1953

War Medal 1939-45; Colonial Police Forces L.S. & G.C., G.VI.R., 1st issue, with 2 Bars (9013 African Sgt. 1 Cl. Mgambiwa, B.S.A. Police); Coronation 1953; Colonial Police Forces Meritorious Service Medal, E.II.R., 2nd issue (African Stn. Sgt. Mgambiwa, B.S.A. Police); St. John Service Medal (9013 Pte. Mgambiwa (7425)), mounted as worn, silvering worn on the last, contact marks and edge bruising, otherwise generally very fine (5) £550-650


Mgambiwa joined the British South Africa Police in September 1930, and went on to enjoy a career of 32 years in the force, serving variously in Bulawayo, Umtali, Fort Victoria and Salisbury Town. An excellent linguist - he spoke six native languages as well as English - he was commended on numerous occasions for his investigative work in theft cases and finally retired as a Station Sergeant in April 1962, in which rank he had served since November 1951.

Awarded his L.S. & G.C. Medal in November 1948, to which he added Bars in February 1956 and January 1962, and his M.S.M. in June 1956, he received the rare distinction of gaining the Coronation Medal in 1953 (Force Order 336/53 refers), in addition to having been recommended for his St. John Service Medal back in early 1954; sold with a file of research, including medal verification and a lengthy retirement feature copied from Mapolisa.