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According to Owen's book, this badge is listed as the Karoo Skutters solid center brass badge and was worn by Other Ranks from 1914 to 1929 (Owen 1755).

The unit appears to have existed from 1913 to 1929 and served in the Southern area of German South West Africa in 1915.

The Karroo Skutters were also known as the 14th Dismounted Rifles.

Other information that I have found indicates that this badge may have been worn by the Karkloof Skutters or Rifles but I have not been able to find out much about them.

The motto "NON SIBI SID" "PATRIAL" means "Not For Self But For Country".

I also believe that the badge was designed by one of the five Boer prisoners who escaped from the ship "THE CATOLINA" in Columbia harbour on 13 January 1901. They were known as the "five swimmers" and swam to a Russian steamer KERSON where they made their escape.The five were a Steyn, Botha, Haussner and the two Steytler brothers. This feat is depicted on the badge design.

Steyn was an officer in General Smuts's staff in the Anglo-Boer War and he may have commanded the unit during the GSWA campaign.

Does anybody have more details/opinions?

Regards,

Will

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Will

The only Karkloof military unit I can recall was the 19th Century Karkloof Carbineers, which was absorbed into the Natal Carbineers and which therefore had no WWI connection.

Having just moved to smaller accommodation, I do not have access to my books yet but, if necessary, I will check on other possible Karkloof references.

Regards

Brett

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I am wondering if such an isolated event as the 5 guys escaping would be acceptable material for a badge design, even back them. Even the pre British war of aggression badges of the Transvaal and OVS followed the British tradition of "things" as opposed to events... if it is indeed a Karoo Skutters badge, it is a big break in tradition me thinks...

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I think this badge design is very special and definitely has provenance.

Given the very limited number of successfull escapes by Boer P.O.W.'s in the Boer War this was a very momentous event and the escapers even had an audience with President Paul Kruger on their way back from Russia.

I am sure the one that was on display in Pretoria was a silver one-off version and belonged to the unit commander, hence its provenance during the centenary of the Anglo-Boer War display.

These badges are very scarce and seldom appear as is information on the unit.

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If I remember correctly, the story goes that the commanding officer of the Karroo Schutters was one of the five swimmers. I'll have to trawl throgh my files to find his name. As CO he would have had considerable influence on the badge design. In the far flung karoo the badge was more than likely not an officially sealed & approved in the official manner.

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Photographs recently shown on the Bid or Buy auction site confirm this to be the collar badge of the Karroo Schutters. The cap badge was the general service badge of the time i.e. union arms in garter surmounted by crown.

The OC KS was Lt Col Steyn.

See: http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/197439192/RARE_Framed_photo_of_the_14th_Dismounted_regiment_KARROO_SCHUTTERS_with_names_and_rare_badges.html

Edited by milhistry
added web link

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