|South African Medal for War Services|
|Awarded by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India|
|Eligibility||Whether British subjects or not|
|Awarded for||Voluntary & unremunerated service|
|Campaign(s)||Second World War 1939–1945|
|Order of wear|
The South African Medal for War Services is a South African service medal for voluntary unpaid service in support of the war effort between 6 September 1939 and 15 February 1946, during the Second World War.
In addition to the British war medals which were awarded to combatants from all members of the British Commonwealth, several Commonwealth nations augmented the British awards by establishing their own service medals, all distinctive in design, purpose and criteria.
The South African Medal for War Services was instituted by a Royal Warrant dated 29 December 1945, countersigned and sealed at Cape Town on 6 February 1946.
The royal sign-manual is the signature of the sovereign, by the affixing of which the monarch expresses his or her pleasure either by order, commission, or warrant. A sign-manual warrant may be either an executive act, or an authority for affixing the Great Seal of the pertinent realm. The sign-manual is also used to give power to make and ratify treaties. Sign manual, with or without hyphen, is an old term for a hand-written signature in general. It is also referred to as sign manual and signet.
Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa, colloquially named the Mother City. It is the legislative capital of South Africa and primate city of the Western Cape province. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality.
The medal was awarded for part-time unremunerated voluntary service in support of the war effort between 6 September 1939 and 15 February 1946.
Altogether 17,500 medals were awarded to people of both sexes, irrespective of whether or not they were British subjects. The requirement was a minimum of two years service, of which at least one year was continuous, rendered voluntarily and without pay within or outside the borders of the Union of South Africa, in one or more of the officially recognised voluntary non-military organisations, such as the Red Cross and the Governor-General's War Fund, with the proviso that five or more hours were worked every week.
The Union of South Africa is the historical predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony. It included the territories that were formerly a part of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 17 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering.
In the order of wear prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, the South African Medal for War Services takes precedence after the Women's Royal Voluntary Service Medal and before the Colonial Special Constabulary Medal.
The Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood is a small office within the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom responsible for the administration of orders of chivalry and some aspects of honours in general. It does not deal with nominations or decisions on appointments, but rather administers the appointment procedures and investitures, and provides the insignia.
The Women's Voluntary Service Medal was instituted in 1961 to reward fifteen years of exemplary service in the Women's Voluntary Service. In 1966 Queen Elizabeth II granted the organisation the prefix "Royal" in recognition of its valued work and the title of the medal was changed to Women's Royal Voluntary Service Medal.
With effect from 6 April 1952, when a new South African set of decorations and medals was instituted to replace the British awards used to date, the older British decorations and medals which were applicable to South Africa continued to be worn in the same order of precedence but, with the exception of the Victoria Cross, took precedence after all South African decorations and medals awarded to South Africans on or after that date. Of the official British medals which were applicable to South Africans, the South African Medal for War Services takes precedence as shown.
The medal was struck in silver and is 36 millimetres in diameter and 3 millimetres thick at the raised rim. It is affixed to the suspender by means of claws and a pin through the upper edge of the medal.
The obverse depicts the years "1939" over "1945", encircled by a wreath of protea flowers, all of which are surrounded by the name of the medal in English and Afrikaans, "SOUTH AFRICA" and "SUID-AFRIKA" above and "FOR WAR SERVICES • VIR OORLOGDIENSTE" below.
The reverse has the Coat of Arms of the Union of South Africa, with the medal number impressed at the bottom on the rim.
The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide, with three equal width bands of dark orange, white and dark blue.
The Africa Service Medal is a South African campaign medal for service during the Second World War, awarded to members of the Union Defence Forces, the South African Police and the South African Railways Police. The medal was originally intended for service in Africa, but it was later extended to cover service anywhere in the world.
The South Africa Medal (1853) is a campaign medal instituted in 1854, for award to officers and men of the Royal Navy, British Army and locally recruited Cape Mounted Riflemen, who served in the Cape of Good Hope during the Xhosa Wars between 1834 and 1853.
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The Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst, post-nominal letters DTD, is a South African military decoration. It was instituted in 1920 as a retrospective award for Boer officers of the 1899–1902 Second Boer War.
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The Efficiency Decoration , post-nominal letters ED, was instituted in 1930 for award to efficient and thoroughly capable part-time officers in the Citizen Force of the Union of South Africa after twenty years of service. The decoration superseded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration.
The Efficiency Medal was instituted in 1930 for award to part-time warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men after twelve years of efficient service on the active list of the Citizen Force of the Union of South Africa. At the same time, a clasp was instituted for award to holders of the medal upon completion of further periods of six years of efficient service. The medal superseded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal.
The John Chard Medal is a military long service medal which was instituted by the Union of South Africa on 6 April 1952. Until 1986, it was awarded to members of the Citizen Force of the South African Defence Force for twelve years of efficient service and good conduct. The period of qualifying service was reduced to ten years in 1986.
The Union of South Africa Commemoration Medal is a military and civil commemorative medal which was awarded to commemorate the opening of the first Union Parliament by the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn in 1910. It may be considered as the first of many independence medals which were instituted throughout the Commonwealth during the 20th century.
The Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Medal is a long service and good conduct medal, instituted for award to other ranks of the Permanent Forces of the Dominions and Colonies of the British Empire. The medal, also known as the Permanent Overseas Forces Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, was established in 1910 as a single common award to supersede the several local versions of the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal which were being awarded by the various territories.
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The Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct is a distinctive South African version of the British Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military). It was awarded to members of the Permanent Force of the Union of South Africa who had completed eighteen years of reckonable service.
The Union of South Africa King's Medal for Bravery, Silver is the lesser of two classes of a South African civil decoration for acts of bravery that was in use from 1939 to 1952, when the country was a constitutional monarchy in the British Commonwealth. The medal was instituted by King George VI on 23 June 1939.
In 1895, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various British military decorations and medals and to award them to their local military forces. The Colony of Natal introduced this system in August 1895 and, in 1897, instituted the Distinguished Conduct Medal (Natal), post-nominal letters DCM.
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In May 1895, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various British military medals and to award them to members of their local permanent military forces. The Colony of Natal introduced this system in August 1895 and, in 1897, instituted the Meritorious Service Medal (Natal).
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