General Service Medal (Rhodesia)

The General Service Medal or Rhodesian General Service Medal was the most widely awarded military medal of Rhodesia. It was awarded to members of the security forces and British South Africa Police for service on operations undertaken for the purpose of combating terrorists or enemy incursions into Rhodesia.

General Service Medal (Rhodesia)
Obverse and reverse of the medal
Awarded by the State President
Country Rhodesia 1965–70)
 Republic of Rhodesia (1970–79)
 Zimbabwe Rhodesia
TypeMilitary campaign medal
EligibilityAll Ranks
Awarded forService on operations combating terrorists or enemy incursions into Rhodesia.
Campaign(s)Rhodesian Bush War
StatusDiscontinued in 1982
First awarded1968
Order of Wear
Next (higher)President's Medal for Headmen[1]
EquivalentRhodesian District Service Medal[1]
Next (lower)Prison Service Medal[1]

Ribbon bar of the medal


The medal was instituted in 1968. The medals appear to have been last issued in June 1980, although in 2002 the Zimbabwe National Army advertised their intention to dispose of 9,000 unclaimed medals, and invited recipients to claim them.[2]


The medal was struck in cupro-nickel by Matthews Manufacturing of Bulawayo,[3] and bore a relief portrait of Cecil Rhodes on the obverse and the arms of Rhodesia on the reverse. The ribbon of the medal represented the British South Africa Police (central stripes of Oxford blue and old gold); the Rhodesian Army (guardsman red) and the Rhodesian Air Force (Cambridge blue). The medal was impressed in small capitals with the recipient's name, rank and service number on the rim.


"Tens of thousands" of Rhodesian General Service Medals were issued.[4] Awards were not gazetted, and no full roll of recipients has ever been published.

It was known familiarly as the "First Street Medal" (after the main street in the capital city) as it was so widely awarded.


The General Service Medal was superseded in 1982 by the Zimbabwe Service Medal,[5] which is awarded to members or former members of the armed forces of Zimbabwe on completion of ten years' service.


  1. Vollaire, John. "The History of Rhodesian Honours and Awards 1890-1980". The Rhodesian Forces Web Site. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  2. Flame Lily Foundation, 28 Jan 2002
  3. Guide to Rhodesian General Service Medals
  4. Rhodesia Medal Roll, p7
  5. Zimbabwe Government Statutory Instrument Nos. 74-75 of 1982.
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