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Greetings- Mervyn suggested that we discuss a new topic under the Colonial Police Heading as a starting point for Early Prison Services Insignia. The first Badge is one that I unfortunately do not own and is a JPEG from a recent auction. This is the Victorian Cape of Good Hope Convict Police Badge- I have never seen this item in any publication . Does anyone have any information on this Badge please ?
Kind regards
Alf

post-10280-071572700 1288041603_thumb.jp

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Alf - I have never seen this Cape of Goodhope Convict Police badge - it must be very rare. I have the two later - and larger plates and will post them soon. However, perhaps someone can add to our knowledge on this one ? The Orange River Colony prisons was introduced following the Boer War - lasted for just a few years. Will do some research and add to your thread.

I think Prisons is a good - but, neglected subject. In the absence of it's own sub-Forum, we could do some posts either under Brit. Police - or, Worldwide.

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Andrew - I'm delighted to see you posting. I hope you will keep supporting us - your knowledge is valuable to all of our members.

Here are the two Cape Prisons helmet plates - Queen Victoria Crown and Edward 7th. After that they became part of the S.A. Prisons Service. I have always understood that these plates were reserved for the main prison on Robben Island. For non Sth. Africans this is off the coast of Capetown and is forever in World memory for where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. There were of course other prisons in the Cape and I wonder if we can establish that these were only for Robben Island.

I have had another problem with Windows 7 and will put the pictures on separately.

Edited by Mervyn Mitton

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Andrew - I hope we can find a date for this Unit ? Looking at the Crown I would say 1840'/50's. King William 1V th used this pattern with the angular corners. The early part of Victoria's reign continued with it - however, eventually the angles became rounded - as can be seen on the large plate above.

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I have recently purchased a group of old postcards - most dating from around 1900. Many are of Zulus and I will post all of them under our Africa sub-forum in the near future. However, this one stands out as it shows prisoners being marched out to work. The warders are all in uniform and are wearing a cap badge - however, I can't quite make-it out. One looks as if he carrying a long stave and the one on the right has a shouldered rifle.

This is the first picture I have seen of an early prison set-up in Sth. Africa.

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I have recently purchased a group of old postcards - most dating from around 1900. Many are of Zulus and I will post all of them under our Africa sub-forum in the near future. However, this one stands out as it shows prisoners being marched out to work. The warders are all in uniform and are wearing a cap badge - however, I can't quite make-it out. One looks as if he carrying a long stave and the one on the right has a shouldered rifle.

This is the first picture I have seen of an early prison set-up in Sth. Africa.

Interesting photo. If these are Zulu convicts, then the warders would no doubt be members of the Natal Police, which trebled-up as police force, regular army, and prisons service.

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Andrew - I hope we can find a date for this Unit ? Looking at the Crown I would say 1840'/50's. King William 1V th used this pattern with the angular corners. The early part of Victoria's reign continued with it - however, eventually the angles became rounded - as can be seen on the large plate above.

Mervyn,

I'd go along with 1840s/50s. I've recently done some digging into Cape colonial police and prisons history, and learned that it was in the mid-1840s that the government decided to build a network of roads and mountain passes using convict labour. Convict stations were duly set up at the various places where these projects were carried out -- they were run by overseers with 'convict policemen' to control the prisoners.

The convict stations were quite separate from the prisons/gaols, which were organised on a district basis, and run by the Rural Police under overall control of the district magistrates and district prison boards.

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Mervyn,

I'd go along with 1840s/50s. I've recently done some digging into Cape colonial police and prisons history, and learned that it was in the mid-1840s that the government decided to build a network of roads and mountain passes using convict labour. Convict stations were duly set up at the various places where these projects were carried out -- they were run by overseers with 'convict policemen' to control the prisoners.

The convict stations were quite separate from the prisons/gaols, which were organised on a district basis, and run by the Rural Police under overall control of the district magistrates and district prison boards.

Hi Arthur,

Thank you. Were these local prisoners or shipped in?

Regards

Andrew

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Thank you. Were these local prisoners or shipped in?

Hi Andrew,

Local convicts. Apparently, having decided to use convict labour to build the roads, the Cape government arranged for sentences routinely to include hard labour. Hence the Afrikaans term for hard labour - 'hardepad' - the convicts were used to build hard roads!

The scheme was the brainchild of the colonial secretary John Montagu. I see that Alf, who started this thread, lives in the town named after him.

The UK government tried shipping its own convicts to the Cape, instead of to Australia, in 1849. That sparked off a public resistance campaign in Cape Town which brought the colonial government to its knees and forced the UK government to back down.

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Thanks Arthur. have a grand week. Regards Andrew

Hi Andrew,

Local convicts. Apparently, having decided to use convict labour to build the roads, the Cape government arranged for sentences routinely to include hard labour. Hence the Afrikaans term for hard labour - 'hardepad' - the convicts were used to build hard roads!

The scheme was the brainchild of the colonial secretary John Montagu. I see that Alf, who started this thread, lives in the town named after him.

The UK government tried shipping its own convicts to the Cape, instead of to Australia, in 1849. That sparked off a public resistance campaign in Cape Town which brought the colonial government to its knees and forced the UK government to back down.

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Very interesting, Arthur. I wasn't aware that the British Govt. had tried to send convicts to Sth. Africa. Might have been an improvement on some who came under their 'own steam' ? Australia never had too much trouble from them and in Sydney people are very proud if they can find a link to an early convict. Always remember - you could get 7 years transportation for taking a loaf of bread - so many sentences were excessively severe.

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As a new member to this forum and with a specific interest in British prison history and their insignia I can state categorically that the photo shows a work party leaving H.M.P. Dartmoor circa 1880's. The staff armed with the Snyder rifle were in fact Civil Guard who accompanied staff who carried a sword as well as a truncheon for personal protection.The prison was first opened to accommodate French and American prisoners of war when it was built in 1809.It became a criminal prison in 1850.Above the Granite Arched entrance you can just make out the inscription which reads in Latin "Parcere Subjectis" translated "Suffer The Vanquished".

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I did wonder whether all the convicts in the photo were white and whether that meant that there were separate prisons for White, Black and [presumably] Coloured in old South Africa. Dartmouth makes a little more sense.

"Above the Granite Arched entrance you can just make out the inscription which reads in Latin "Parcere Subjectis" translated "Suffer The Vanquished". Nasty! No fear of the convicts being 'spoiled' by soft conditions and too many privileges, as many people seem to think is the problem with prisons today.

Peter

Edited by peter monahan

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Thought these Department of Corrections (themed) patches from my collection may be interesting to some. First two are Florida DOC patches (1st-Right shoulder 2nd-Left shoulder)

More pics later.

Ed

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Last set of my DOC patches:

Hope you enjoyed them. Collecting police department (Law Enforcement) patches is a fun and interesting hobby. My last count was 1600+. If you have any extras laying around (ANY country) I'd be glad to take them off your habds (or trade too).

Thanks for looking

Ed

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I did wonder whether all the convicts in the photo were white and whether that meant that there were separate prisons for White, Black and [presumably] Coloured in old South Africa. Dartmouth makes a little more sense.

"Above the Granite Arched entrance you can just make out the inscription which reads in Latin "Parcere Subjectis" translated "Suffer The Vanquished". Nasty! No fear of the convicts being 'spoiled' by soft conditions and too many privileges, as many people seem to think is the problem with prisons today.

Peter

Hi Peter,

The Prison is Dartmoor not Dartmouth and is situated on the Devon moor in Southern England where the summers can be quite warm although very changeable with heavy rain showers and mist coming in very quickly.The winters also can be very harsh and a hard environment to find yourself in especially as a convict.The prisoners in the photo would have been predominately white but would have got sun tan working outside they would not have been permitted to sit down even during a short work break.that they were allowed. Their only protection was a high wooden shelter to lean against.The same protection applied to the staff.

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