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I would be very interested to hear if any of our members have any of the below awards in their collection. These are post-independence pre-republic awards that existed between 1961-71. This request concerns the Commonwealth realm period only.



  • Royal Sierra Leone Military Forces LS&GC Medal
  • Sierra Leone Police LSM
  • Sierra Leone Fire Brigades LSM

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Dear Tony,

With regard to Sierra Leone's Long Service and Good Conduct Medal this is a circular silvered medal, with a fixed straight bar suspension bearing the arms of the nation above the inscription, "SIERRA LEONE". The reverse bears the inscription "FOR LONG SERVICE AND GOOD CONDUCT" surrounded by "REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE MILITARY FORCES". The ribbon is of blue with narrow inset white stripes. The qualifying period for this award is, I believe, 15 years service. Subsequent to the proclamation of the Republic in 1971 a second type was instituted bearing on the obverse the head of President Stevens and the inscription "HIS EXCELLENCY DR. SIAKA STEVENS SIERRA LEONE". The reverse is the same as Type 1. The ribbon in this instance is dark blue with narrow light blue edge stripes. Dr. Stevens was President from 1971 to 1985.

Before and after independence in 1961 the Sierra Leone Military was known as the Royal Sierra Leone Military Forces (RSLMF). On 19 April 1971 when the country became a republic, the name was changed to Republic of Sierra Leone Military Forces (RSLMF). When the National provincial Ruling Council (NARC) took over the reigns of government on 29 April 1992 the military was renamed the Armed Forces of the Republic of Sierra Leone (AFRSL). In 2000, after the interregnum, it was again changed to Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).

Kind regards,

Owain

Edited by oamotme

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Tony,

I thought it was the 1961-71 issue and I attach images of the Siaka Stevens LSGC which I think is the 1971-85 issue. Anway I may well be wrong - a picture of a QEII obverse/reverse would resolve this.

Kind regards,

Owain.

P.S. Is this post drifting towards the Africa part of GMIC?

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Yes, it's very much drifted in to the African section. One can understand why such confusion occurs though. It's the 'independence' bit that causes headaches - most assuming that it means what it says on the tin. Independence, in this case, was initially administrative and latterley constitutional - the Independent Commonwealth Realms being all but dominions and continuing to use the Imperial system - or at least using it to compliment their own indigenous awards. Declaration of a Republic severs the constitutional link, though some remain within the Commonwealth as Commonwealth Republics.

Thanks for posting the images though. Always interesting to see.

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Hello, I was just reviewing these 2010 posts re: the Sierra Leone Military Forces LS&GC Medal. As there seems to have been a bit of difference of understanding as to the various types periods of use, was there ever any definitive answer as to when the 1st type obverse with coat-of-arms was issued and used? Has a post-independence QEII type obverse ever turned up?

Thanks, Frank Draskovic in Calif.

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Frank, To date I have not seen a QE2 type and to be honest I haven't been looking, but that doesn't necessarily mean that one does not exist......Regards, Owain

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Hello Owain,  Your comment appreciated. Nor have I seen a QEII example mentioned anywhere. If they exist, one would think the LSGC gurus in the UK would have publicized it. But if excessively rare, one may still surface someday. So is there agreement that the coat-of-arms type in fine silver that you illustrated was in use from 1961-71? Are these at all scarce? Were issued medals named as the earlier British awards were? Regards, Frank

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Frank,

I would suspect that perhaps this is indeed a valid early piece but this really isn't my field  - I strayed from Arabia when  friend gave me an example of a Sierra Leone Civil Defence Force medal. I believe my two medals are named but they are in the UK.

To confuse matters and from my notes.....

Sierra Leone General Service Medal – this although bearing the head of the Queen on the obverse was a British Commonwealth issue medal and medal was authorised under DCI 256 of 1956 for award to the Royal Sierra Leone Armed Forces and police personnel involved with minor operations within and without Sierra Leone territory. A clasp "CONGO" was authorised to denote that specific operation and the medal was awarded to seconded British personnel for the period 26th January 1962 and 28th February 1963. The medals were issued unnamed. The medal became obsolete when Sierra Leone introduced its own series of awards in 1971 when the Republic was declared.

As you can see from the medal there is no word "Republic" on the reverse.

Regards,

Owain

 

 

SL Service Medal  & Mini Obv..jpg

SL Service Medal & Mini Rev..jpg

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Hello Owain,

Your most recently pictured bronze Sierra Leone General Service Medal with QEII on obverse is cataloged in Medal Yearbook as MY-204AA. MY says it began in 1965 (four years after nominal independence in 1961). From 1961 to 1971, S.L. was a Commonwealth Realm, with the Queen as head of state, thus her effigy remained on the medals, but curiously the head of Sir Milton Margai was placed on the country's coins starting in 1964. This seems contradictory and confusing. As the Presidential Republic of Sierra Leone came about in 1971 with a new constitution, I'd guess the bronze S.L. QEII type G.S.M. became obsolete in 1971.

Thus it would seem that the silver Sierra Leone LSGC medal, without the Queen's head but with "Republic" in the reverse legend, that you pictured with your 1 June 2010 post is actually a post-1971 medal. After typing all this, I just now found some posts from Emmanuel Halleaux from 2011 on this same topic. He feels the S.L. LSGC medal with Pres. Stevens on obverse predates the coat-of-arms obverse type. Perhaps the reverse might be true? Would Pres. Stevens' immediate successor after 1985 spurn the chance to have his head on a medal and instead replace it with a coat-of-arms? Also the coat-of-arms type seems to be fine silver and I wonder if silver metal was still being used in their medals in the late 80s? Just supposition of course in the absence of documentary evidence, but fun to speculate.

Regards, Frank

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Gentlemen

I've been following this post with some interest, as I have a little interest but no real knowledge of things African, based on a brief stay there in my foolish youth.  So, I am going to request that someone hifgher up the food chain than I move it to the appropriate forum: 'Africa'.  I trust that doesn't annoy or confuse anyone.  Cheers,

Peter

 

Edited by peter monahan

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Peter,

No problem - a sensible suggestion.

Frank,

I'll next be back in UK in April and check my medals then in the meantime I'll revert back to my Arabic awards which confusing as they are, are less confusing (to me) than the awards of Sierra Leone!

Owain

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Hello Owain,    I'm just back from a numismatic convention to find your note. I think I'll also get back to my own areas of interest, Chinese ODMs, though hardly less confusing, especially if one does not read Chinese, Life Saving awards and general world Orders. A new interest is Indian Princely States; late to the game I know as prices are up!

Regards, Frank

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Frank, Straying is an ever present danger. For a number of years I had strayed into Afghanistan and Iran but on realizing the huge array of awards issued and the unlikeness of ever being able to complete or afford such collections some years ago I disposed of the medals I had amassed, and to be hones don't regret it. Of course  I have succumbed to straying elsewhere, Sierra Leone included, and have built up a decent collection of Imperial Ethiopian awards and also a number of medals (no orders!) from Bahawalpur. When I next visit UK I'll see if I can find the Sierra Leone medals mentioned above and detail the naming on the medals. Regards, Owain

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Hi Owain,  Straying dangerous? Maybe, but fun. With a professional and collector background in world coins and paper since the early 1960s, it was natural for me to pursue the same in worldwide ODMs, especially with Bob Elliott as a mentor in the late 80s. After heavy buying, I've pulled in my horns somewhat, but still find it all interesting. Speaking of Bahawalpur, at one of earliest OMSA conventions I bought an Imtiaz-i-Haroonia neck badge from Bob Werlich. With very little experience back then, I thought I'd be finding Princely State Orders all over the place! Fat chance; that was my first and last in 28 years, but it is a beauty. I'll post it if I can figure out where to do so. It seems the moderators like to keep subjects in proper place here and that makes good sense of course. Since that purchase I bought no Bahawalpur ODMs of any kind, until just this week when I bought three medals, common ones but nice specimens, so great minds think alike! Bye for now, Frank

P.S. In May 2015, I posted this at the OMSA forum...

"At the March 29, 2015 Galerie De Numismatique auction in Vienna (Bogdan Stambuliu proprietor), I won one lot, an Indian Princely State of Bahawalpur neck badge of the Imtiaz Abbasia Order; see link below.
http://coins-la-galerie-numismatique.com/auction-xxiv/order-imtiaziabbasia
After wiring payment, I was informed by the firm that the lot had gone missing. I’d appreciate hearing from anyone who might happen to see this item, perhaps offered elsewhere. Many thanks. Frank Draskovic
Should anyone have any Indian Princely State Orders or medals for sale, I’d be pleased to receive offers. Also interested in Indian table medals of the types cataloged in Puddester. Emails to: fdraskovic@hotmail.com or PM me"

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Hello Owain,

Thanks for the heads-up, much appreciated and encouraged for the future. I just saw them today myself and will be giving them consideration. Do they have something for you this time?

Regards, Frank

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Owain, Oh well, maybe next time. There is plenty out there and always more medals to buy. I see so much coming onto the market. The auction aggregators combined send me notices of up to 50 auctions in my areas of interest, EACH DAY! One would never sleep or eat if attempting to check even a fraction of them. There is more out there than we think, and those who have it also now have the means to get it before our eyes in a professional manner. In 5-10 years we'll know what is common (likely more than we thought), scarce and what is truly rare.

Regards, Frank

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There was a series of long and meritorious service awards introduced upon SL becoming an independent dominion in '61. These supplanted the CPM (both for gallantry and merit) and the Colonial Police and Fire LSMs. Though the designs were markedly different, they followed the established model of the predecessor awards. All used the Cecil Thomas 'Tudor' effigy of Elizabeth II and the reverses reflected the service with inscriptions denoting award type. They all had ring suspenders and were struck from both silver and cupro-nickel - the latter materiel being utilised for the LS awards only.

All of the above awards are excessively rare, and to the best of my knowledge none have come onto the market in recent years... if ever! Given the turbulent state of the country, it's extremely likely that the survivability of any of the above awards is low. I haven't even seen any images never mind encountered as much as a specimen example. I await the day when one crops up (along with the elusive Mauritius Police issue). We can but live in hope.

 

slpol.jpg

slfb.jpg

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