Gold plated bronze medallion commemorating End of the Mail Service to South Africa. Union Line / Union-Castle Line Medal : 1857-1977
This Gold Plated Bronze medal is 38 mm and weighs 24.7 grams
Obverse: Starboard broadside view of the sailing ship R.M.S. Dane with: “1857” in large letters below. Legend above between stops: “UNION LINE” and below between stops: “SOUTH AFRICAN MAIL SERVICE”.
Reverse: Bow and starboard view of the steamship R.M.S. Windsor Castle with: “1977” in large letters below. Legend above between stops: “UNION-CASTLE LINE” and below between stops: “SOUTH AFRICAN MAIL SERVICE”.
Notes: Presented in a red case – on the inside of the lid, two Royal warrants from the Queen (left) and the Duke of Edinburgh (right) and below that: “SPINK & SON, LTD / 6-7, KING STREET, ST.JAMES’S, / LONDON, S.W.1.” A 1,000 medals were issued in silver and an unlimited number were made in gold plated bronze. The medal commemorates 120 years of the ocean mail service between the Great Britain and South Africa. The service was inaugurated by the R.M.S. Dane when she sailed from Southampton on 15th September 1857. The final sailing of the large passenger mail ships was in 1977. The name of the company was changed from Union Line to Union-Castle Line in 1900, during the Boer War, when it merged with the Castle Mail Packets Company.