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STH.AFRICAN RAILWAY POLICE


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South Africa used to have quite a complex network of police forces. The South African Police became the national force in 1913, and running alongside, was the South African Railways police - they had the same powers - carried rifles and bayonets on occasion, and would be called out on street duty in emergencies. They wore a khaki uniform and this cap. They were disbanded - I think in the 1970's - perhaps someone could give the date? Additional to these were the town or, metro police that many large towns and cities had - and, there were also a number of traffic police forces - whose duty seemed to be to issue tickets to increase small town revenues !!

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Thankyou for that date - I was not in SA between 1960 and 1988 , so don't have a rememberance for dates like that. I do have memories from - I think - 1958 -when a large demonstration took place in Durban and ended up in front of the old prison, that was in the centre of Town. There were no SAP available - they were trying to stop another march coming over the Berea - and to defend the prison 30 railway police lined up in front of the gates. They warned the demonstrators - some 10,000 strong of severe action if they didn't lay down their arms and disperse. I was standing at the back of the demo with a friend who worked for the Daily News - and I remember an old Sgt. Maj. of the Railway Police coming round and saying ' now lads, don't stand here, if we open fire you'll get hurt'. I was only 21 then, so we quickly 'moved on'. After the demonstrators had gone - three x 3ton lorries were needed to collect all the weapons left on the ground. I've kicked myself for over 50 years , that I didn't get in there to collect some of the old Zulu weaponry.

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2009/post-3034-1242571993.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2009/post-3034-1242571965.jpg

One of the Railway Police Pith helmets in my collection, badge makes it about the same period as the cap posted by Mervyn.

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Thanks Arthur,

Any more details on the previous helmet I posted?

Nothing concrete. There's a photo in Alexander/Barron/Bateman's book on SA medals which shows two railways policemen wearing white helmets in 1945, but no badges are visible. I'd guess the coat of arms badge may be pre-WWII, perhaps dating from the reorganisation of the force in 1934. The badge has 'SAS' rather than 'ZAS' which suggests post-1926.

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  • 12 years later...
On 16/05/2009 at 16:59, Mervyn Mitton said:

post-6209-1242489136.jpg

 

South Africa used to have quite a complex network of police forces. The South African Police became the national force in 1913, and running alongside, was the South African Railways police - they had the same powers - carried rifles and bayonets on occasion, and would be called out on street duty in emergencies. They wore a khaki uniform and this cap. They were disbanded - I think in the 1970's - perhaps someone could give the date? Additional to these were the town or, metro police that many large towns and cities had - and, there were also a number of traffic police forces - whose duty seemed to be to issue tickets to increase small town revenues !!

The South African Railways Police was amalgamated into the South African Police and all their assets transferred to the SAP as of 1 October 1986. 

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  • 7 months later...

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