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This is a great thread. I've thought for years that SA WWI and WWII medals are very under-appreciated, but that's good for collectors as they seem to be much less expensive than those from the rest of the Commonwealth.

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An advantage with collecting South African WWII medals is that service records are available, unlike the case with British medals. South Africans took part in many significant actions on land sea and in the air, and researching their history can be very rewarding. My own personal favourite is a group of six medals awarded to a man from my 'home town'. Research revealed that he was wounded in a VC action in North Africa and that he had been at the same school as the VC winner., which also happened to be my old high school. He was later seriously wounded again during the Italian campaign. His medals came with badges and many other relics of his life, including a notebook in which his granddaughter had written a short biography, which ended, "He was my friend."

Brett

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What a wonderful display!!! What is the medal/badge with the red ribbon in the middle and to the left of the insignia? Were you able to find photos of him as a student at your school? I love the touching statement by his granddaughter.

On another subject, is it possible to say that all 1914 Stars to S. Africans would have been for GSWA? Thanks. John

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Hi John

The badge with the ribbon was worn by service personnel while they were on leave and in civilian clothes. The orange flash in its various forms indicated that the person concerned had volunteered to serve outside the borders of South Africa. The round badge in the middle on the right is the King's Badge, which was awarded after a person was invalided out. Reid spent many months in hospital after being wounded by a German machine gun in Italy.

It was the 1914/15 Star that was awarded to South Africans for service in GSWA. A few men who arrived to serve in German East Africa late in 1915 also qualified for this medal, although most GEA veterans received only the War and Victory Medals. The same applied to those personnel who served in the Middle East and Europe.

Regards

Brett

Edited by Brett Hendey

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The most common combination of medals awarded to South Africans who went on active service outside of their country is the 1939/45 Star, Africa Star, War Medal and Africa Service Medal. Not surprisingly, most often there is not much of a story to tell about the men behind the medals. However, sometimes an interesting, exciting or tragic story emerges instead. This was the case with the medal group awarded to a young man from Natal, Cyril Stokoe, who had served in the RNVR (SA Division) before the war and then volunteered to serve in the embryonic South Africa Navy. He was seconded to the Royal Navy and drafted to the cruiser, HMS Gloucester on 1/5/1940. A year later he was on HMS Gloucester when it was engaged in the Battle of Crete in the Mediterranean. The ship was attacked by German dive bombers and sunk. Of the 807 men aboard, only 83 survived to come home. Amongst the dead was Leading Seaman Stokoe and another 25 South Africans. The sinking of the HMS Gloucester was one of the epic stories of the Royal Navy during World War II.

Stokoe's medals were claimed by his family.

Brett

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I have a diary from a school boy jacobus petrus Ahrens, it goes from 1914 to1915 December. It is all about his school in potchefstroom, girls, family and such. 28 January 1916 he went to East Africa with 11SAI and died of dysentery on 28 march 1916. Age 18. What is so poignant is the diary holds the hopes and dreams of a young lad who died before he could fulfill any of them. I would love to find his medals. Regards David.

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What a wonderful display!!! What is the medal/badge with the red ribbon in the middle and to the left of the insignia? Were you able to find photos of him as a student at your school? I love the touching statement by his granddaughter.

On another subject, is it possible to say that all 1914 Stars to S. Africans would have been for GSWA? Thanks. John

John

As Brett said, a few 14-15 Stars were awarded for GEA, but not many. I have one group to a trooper in the 2 SA Horse. They left Durban mid December 1915 and arrived in GEA just in time to qualify for the Star, basically it was one shipment of SA Troops from what I can work out?

Brian

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Brian - Posts 15 & 17.

Greetings and it's good news that you are writing about the SAMCC.

Do you need a copy of the court martial proceedings of Lance Sjt F. Harris SAMCC who witnessed the death of Colonel Fairweather before himself being captured by Wintgens?

If you do then please send a Personal Message with your email address.

Harry

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Hi Gents 

ive just the one AVM to add.

its had a hard life!

i believe the edge reads as follows

4699 PTE. SATTI (SAITI?)

 2/K    A     R

------

theres a large 'dink' before the final R that looks like a letter sometimes, perhaps so in the photos but the spacing would be wrong.

------

ive always assumed

2nd Kings African Regiment or Rifles....

IMG_2330.thumb.JPG.d1c99ffd89a2d31ded828a6a116c25b1.JPG

IMG_2334.thumb.JPG.0034359e071e604ad10e777d50f58e31.JPG

IMG_2339.thumb.JPG.26984a39fd032cd972012ea1e89f8891.JPG

IMG_2349.thumb.JPG.257e0a430933e9967307cb04d669afa4.JPG

hope you like it

tony

 

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Tony, thank you for sharing that with us.  KAR is the King's African Rifles, an East African Regiment.  Does the medal have the British reverse or the South African (bilingual) one?  I would expect the former, but I have never seen a KAR medal before.

Regards

Brett

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Hi Brett

glad it's of interest and thanks for identifying his unit.

the reverse in indeed the British design...

tony

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Hi Brett,

Just as a point of interest the 2nd Bn. K.A.R. are a Central African Regiment and not as quoted earlier East African. Both the 1st and 2nd battalions of the K.A.R. were raised in British Central Africa later re-named Nyasaland and now modern day Malawi.

Best regards,

Zob.

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Hi Chris,

Many thanks for this; I do occasionally have a shuffty at this terrific site as it is always interesting to read the deliberations of other likeminded enthusiasts.

Best regards,

Zob.

Edited by zob123
Typo

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Thank you for pointing out my mistake, Zob.  I should not be going over the Limpopo River into unfamiliar territory!

Regards

Brett

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