General Service Medal with Clasps for Palestine and Malaya
The Highlanders’ Museum

This object helps us understand Scotland’s role in the British empire. It is a General Service Medal, awarded to soldiers who fought across the world between 1918 and 1962. The silver bar is called a clasp and commemorates the specific conflict that a soldier fought in.   

This medal has two clasps. The one for ‘Malaya’, (which is now known as Malaysia) was given to British soldiers who fought in the Malayan Emergency. This conflict is now viewed as one of controversy as it is known that international laws were broken.   

The other clasp is for Palestine, where British forces suppressed Palestinian people who opposed the creation of Israel.    

Whilst historians are reassessing the history of the British empire, it is interesting to explore what such objects mean to us now. Do we still see it as a symbol of courage, despite its recipient’s role in a complex history?  

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Date: 1936-1960
Materials : Metal, Ribbon
Size : 12cm x 5cm

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