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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Mervyn Mitton

WW2 Sth. African Epaulettes

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These epaulettes or, shoulder boards , were the type issued to other ranks during the North African campaign in WW2. The colour indicates for use in the desert with shirt sleeve order. The triangular badge is the Div. or Formation sign and the piece of red cloth under the Regt. title indicated a Sth. African on overseas service. All ranks wore this red cloth. The chromed letters NMR stand for Natal Mounted Rifles. They were originally mounted infantry and later were armoured. They are one of the oldest Regt's. in South Africa.

Overall, a little moth eaten.

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Very nice!

I add an epaulette of Imperial Light Horse (on the right). From october 1943 ILH was amalgamated with Kimberley regiment, allocated to the 11th SA Brigade detached to the 6thSA armoured division in Italy.

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The "red cloth" indicated that the bearer had signed an oath or commitment to serve anywhere in Africa and had therefore volunteered his/her services for the various campaigns in which the South Africans took part during WW2.

The oath was necessary due to the fact that the South African Defence Act of the time only allowed compulsory military service for South African citizens within the borders of South Africa.

Signatories of the oath later became eligible for the Africa Service medal.

It should be noted that the Oath was not signed by all members of the Union Defence Force

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The oath was also taken twice during the war, plus no conscription was used all South Africans were volunteers.

The first oath was taken for service in Africa, after the defeat of the Germans in North Africa the oath was taken again stating the volunteer would serve for the duration and anywhere.

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1 SA Div - gold & green "diamond"

2 SA Div - gold & green circular disk

3 SA Div - gold & green rectangle (in theory - never seen one though)

6 SA Div - gold on green diamond

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