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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Mervyn Mitton

STH.AFRICAN RAILWAY POLICE

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South Africa used to have quite a complex network of police forces. The South African Police became the national force in 1913, and running alongside, was the South African Railways police - they had the same powers - carried rifles and bayonets on occasion, and would be called out on street duty in emergencies. They wore a khaki uniform and this cap. They were disbanded - I think in the 1970's - perhaps someone could give the date? Additional to these were the town or, metro police that many large towns and cities had - and, there were also a number of traffic police forces - whose duty seemed to be to issue tickets to increase small town revenues !!

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They were disbanded - I think in the 1970's - perhaps someone could give the date?

1 October 1986.

Edited by Arthur R

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They had a rather cool camo uniform.

Unfortunately I no longer have any so I cannot post it.

best

Chris

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Thankyou for that date - I was not in SA between 1960 and 1988 , so don't have a rememberance for dates like that. I do have memories from - I think - 1958 -when a large demonstration took place in Durban and ended up in front of the old prison, that was in the centre of Town. There were no SAP available - they were trying to stop another march coming over the Berea - and to defend the prison 30 railway police lined up in front of the gates. They warned the demonstrators - some 10,000 strong of severe action if they didn't lay down their arms and disperse. I was standing at the back of the demo with a friend who worked for the Daily News - and I remember an old Sgt. Maj. of the Railway Police coming round and saying ' now lads, don't stand here, if we open fire you'll get hurt'. I was only 21 then, so we quickly 'moved on'. After the demonstrators had gone - three x 3ton lorries were needed to collect all the weapons left on the ground. I've kicked myself for over 50 years , that I didn't get in there to collect some of the old Zulu weaponry.

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2009/post-3034-1242571993.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2009/post-3034-1242571965.jpg

One of the Railway Police Pith helmets in my collection, badge makes it about the same period as the cap posted by Mervyn.

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The later version of the Pith Helmet with a badge variation.

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CLOSE UP PHOTOGRAPH OF THE BADGE

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CLOSE UP PHOTOGRAPH OF THE BADGE

The 1957-86 version of the badge, with the Voortrekker Monument in place of the crown on top. This design, with the crown, had been introduced around 1955.

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Thanks Arthur,

Any more details on the previous helmet I posted?

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Thanks Arthur,

Any more details on the previous helmet I posted?

Nothing concrete. There's a photo in Alexander/Barron/Bateman's book on SA medals which shows two railways policemen wearing white helmets in 1945, but no badges are visible. I'd guess the coat of arms badge may be pre-WWII, perhaps dating from the reorganisation of the force in 1934. The badge has 'SAS' rather than 'ZAS' which suggests post-1926.

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