Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #12312

    At the moment, I am researching the orders, decorations and medals of South Africa. It’s a fascinating – and often confusing- story, with a whole raft of awards coming and going and being reconfigured… and many of them are really beautiful on the rare occasions that you actually find any pictures! Designs are thoughtful, original and created with an eye to symbolic meaning.

    For current, post about 2002, material, I’m having reasonable success at finding original entries, which make for fascinating reading. However I am struggling to find images… trouble is, with having such a large number of different awards with very specific criteria, award numbers are low and as my main sources are the catalogues of auctioneers and dealers (many of whom have been kind enough to give me the run of their catalogues) and individual images supplied by collectors (only not many folk collect in this area), I’m struggling.

    Do bob by my site and see how it’s coming along, anyway.



    "Fascinating and often confusing" is a good description. I find it makes the most sense to divide up the awards into the various states and territories that awarded them, along similar lines to, say, the pre-1918 German states, or the Indian princely states. Even within each state, the awards were in specific series (civil, military, police, prisons etc), so the overall picture is one of lots of self-contained sets of awards, rather than a single system as, say, in the UK.

    The table of precedence which lumps them all together was first issued as recently as 2005, to accommodate i.a. personnel from the seven pre-1994 military forces who now serve together in the national defence force, and personnel from the eleven pre-1994 police forces now all serving in the national police.

    You’ve managed to get hold of some nice photos. The Castle of Good Hope Decoration, showing Queen Elizabeth’s cipher, is rare (never awarded and a limited number actually made).


    Your site, Arthur, is an invaluable resource, as well as the books and papers by S Monick.

    I am basing my text list on the 2005 consolidated order of precedence, but am thinking of doing the ribbon charts in a different sequence – current awards, historic awards, state awards, non-statutory forces, and so on – just to reflect the way in which the whole pile has come about.

    It’s all good fun, and hopefully I’ll end up contributing a little to what we know on the matter. As well as the website, I’m putting a lot of additional information into text, which will probably get put out as a PDF you’ll be able to download.


    Paul Fanning

    I would love to chat (by email) with anyone who is interested in collecting the South Africa Police Good Service Medals 1923-63, the South Africa Prisons Service Good Service Medal 1922-59 and the South Africa Prisons Department Faithful Service Medal 1960-68. (silver not the brass 1968-on version) Confusion is perhaps the mildest word used for these. I have observations on types, impressed and engraved names, etc. and would like to compare notes. This is a subject I would like to write an article about BUT want to make sure I have a working knowledge of the medals, etc.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.