|Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps Medal|
|Awarded by Lieutenant Colonel S.H. van Diggelen|
|Awarded for||Voluntary military service|
|Clasps||JAMESON INVAL EN REVOLUTIE TE JOHANNESBURG 1895–1896|
SWAZIELAND EXPEDITIE 1898
In the Colonies and Boer Republics which became the Union of South Africa in 1910, several unofficial military decorations and medals were instituted and awarded during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps Medal is an unofficial private campaign medal which was instituted in 1899 by Lieutenant Colonel S.H. van Diggelen, the founder and Commanding Officer of the Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps, for award to the officers and men of his unit.  
In terms of Act 17, 1894, three Volunteer Corps units were established in the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek in 1894, in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Krugersdorp. 
The South African Republic, also referred to as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent and internationally recognised state located in what is now South Africa, from 1852 to 1902. The ZAR defeated the British Empire in what is often referred to as the First Boer War and remained independent until the end of the Second Boer War on 31 May 1902, when it was forced to surrender to the British. After the war the territory of the ZAR became the Transvaal Colony.
Pretoria is a city in the northern part of Gauteng province in South Africa. It straddles the Apies River and has spread eastwards into the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountains. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the seat of the administrative branch of government, and of foreign embassies to South Africa. Pretoria has a reputation for being an academic city with three universities, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Human Sciences Research Council. The city also hosts the National Research Foundation and the South African Bureau of Standards making the city a hub for research. Pretoria is the central part of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality which was formed by the amalgamation of several former local authorities including Centurion and Soshanguve. There have been proposals to change the name of Pretoria itself to Tshwane, and the proposed name change has caused some public controversy.
Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. It is the provincial capital and largest city of Gauteng, which is the wealthiest province in South Africa. While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa's three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court. The city is located in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills and is the centre of large-scale gold and diamond trade.
The Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps was founded and largely financed by Mr. S.H. van Diggelen, who was commissioned by President Paul Kruger as its commander with the rank of lieutenant colonel. The first meeting to form the Corps was held in Van Diggelen's office on 18 September 1894, with subsequent meetings on 19 September 1894 and 27 March 1895. The first meeting in 1894, as the date on the medal suggests, could be considered the day on which the Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps was established. The official date of disbandment appears to be 1 January 1899. 
Stephanus Johannes Paulus "Paul" Kruger was one of the dominant political and military figures in 19th-century South Africa, and President of the South African Republic from 1883 to 1900. Nicknamed Oom Paul, he came to international prominence as the face of the Boer cause—that of the Transvaal and its neighbour the Orange Free State—against Britain during the Second Boer War of 1899–1902. He has been called a personification of Afrikanerdom, and remains a controversial and divisive figure; admirers venerate him as a tragic folk hero, and critics view him as the obstinate guardian of an unjust cause.
The Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps took part in two significant actions. The first was at Doornkop from 29 December 1895 to 2 January 1896, to suppress the planned Johannesburg Uitlander Revolution and against the Jameson Raid, an unsuccessful British-backed attempt to overthrow the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek government.    
Doornkop is a ridge and locality southwest of Johannesburg, close to Krugersdorp, in Gauteng Province, South Africa.
The Jameson Raid was a botched raid against the South African Republic carried out by British colonial statesman Leander Starr Jameson and his Company troops and Bechuanaland policemen over the New Year weekend of 1895–96. Paul Kruger was president of the republic at the time. The raid was intended to trigger an uprising by the primarily British expatriate workers in the Transvaal but failed to do so. The workers were called the Johannesburg conspirators. They were expected to recruit an army and prepare for an insurrection. The raid was ineffective and no uprising took place, but it was an inciting factor in the Second Boer War and the Second Matabele War.
The second was the Swaziland Expedition in 1898. The Expedition took place following the murder of the Chief Induna Mbaba at Zomboti, the seat of the Swazis, in April 1898. At the time of the murder, Swaziland was administered by the Republican Government and the expedition seems to have consisted mainly of patrols for the maintenance of order in that country.    
Between these two actions, Van Diggelen had also offered his unit's services to the British South Africa Company Administrator in Salisbury during the Second Matabele War in Matabeleland in April 1896, but his offer was declined with thanks.  
The British South Africa Company was established following the amalgamation of Cecil Rhodes' Central Search Association and the London-based Exploring Company Ltd which had originally competed to exploit the expected mineral wealth of Mashonaland but united because of common economic interests and to secure British government backing. The company received a Royal Charter in 1889 modelled on that of the British East India Company. Its first directors included the Duke of Abercorn, Rhodes himself and the South African financier Alfred Beit. Rhodes hoped BSAC would promote colonisation and economic exploitation across much of south-central Africa, as part of the "Scramble for Africa". However, his main focus was south of the Zambezi, in Mashonaland and the coastal areas to its east, from which he believed the Portuguese could be removed by payment or force, and in the Transvaal, which he hoped would return to British control.
Harare is the capital and most populous city of Zimbabwe. The city proper has an area of 960.6 km2 (371 mi2) and an estimated population of 1,606,000 in 2009, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area in 2006. Situated in north-eastern Zimbabwe in the country's Mashonaland region, Harare is a metropolitan province, which also incorporates the municipalities of Chitungwiza and Epworth. The city sits on a plateau at an elevation of 1,483 metres above sea level and its climate falls into the subtropical highland category.
The Second Matabele War, also known as the Matabeleland Rebellion or part of what is now known in Zimbabwe as the First Chimurenga, was fought between 1896 and 1897 in the area then known as Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. It pitted the British South Africa Company against the Matabele people, which led to conflict with the Shona people in the rest of Rhodesia.
The Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps Medal was instituted in 1899 by Lieutenant Colonel Van Diggelen to award to the officers and men of the Corps. Whilst the medal does bear the coat of arms of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, which may indicate official sanction, it appears that Van Diggelen arranged and paid for the award himself.    
The medals were awarded after the conclusion of the Swaziland Expedition. Two clasps were also awarded, the Jameson Inval en Revolutie te Johannesburg 1895–1896 clasp and the Swazieland Expeditie 1898 clasp. It is not known how many of these medals were awarded, but only ten are known to still exist.   
The medal is a disk, 47 millimetres in diameter and struck in bronze. Without suspender, it weighs 48.42 grams. A bronze ring suspender, formed from 1.65-millimetre-diameter wire, passes through a hole in a spherical bronze knob, 7 millimetres in diameter and fused to the top of the medal. The medal was minted by Messrs. Begeer of Utrecht in Holland, now known as Naamlooze Vennootschap Atelier voor Edelsmeed- en Penningkunst voorheen Koninklijke Begeer, Voorschoten.    
The obverse has the coat of arms of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, with the inscription "ZUID AFRIKAANSCHE REPUBLIEK" around the perimeter at the bottom.  
The reverse has, in the centre, a pearl-rimmed cartouche inscribed "JOHANNESBURG VRIJWILLIGER CORPS" on a decorative background, surrounded by two laurel branches. The upper perimeter is inscribed "COMMANDANT V.H. CORPS LUITNT KOL: S. H. VAN DIGGELEN", and at the bottom the years "1894-1899". The manufacturer's name is inscribed in small capitals next to the years, "BEGEER" to the left of the year 1894 and "UTRECHT" to the right of the year 1899.  
The two clasps were struck in bronze and are the width of the ribbon, made to slip over the ribbon. The first is inscribed "JAMESON INVAL EN REVOLUTIE TE JOHANNESBURG 1895-1896" in three lines and is 8.3 millimetres high. The second is inscribed "SWAZIELAND EXPEDITIE 1898" in two lines and is 7 millimetres high.   
The ribbon is 1 1⁄2 inches (38 millimetres) wide, with equal width bands of bright grass-green, scarlet, white and deep sky-blue, the colours of the Transvaal Vierkleur . 
While privately instituted military decorations and medals do not enjoy official status, as a result of not having been formally instituted or sanctioned by the fount of honour at the time, and while none of them were therefore allowed to be worn with military uniform, some have become well-known and have acquired recognition in South Africa's military medal history. Four of these decorations and medals are considered to be significant.  
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The Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, initially designated the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service Medal, was instituted in 1908. It could be awarded to part-time ratings in the United Kingdom's Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve after twelve years of service and good conduct. The medal was a Naval version of the Volunteer Long Service Medal and its successor, the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal.
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