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1st military constabulary ww1 south africa


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Guest pikemedals

hi all,i just got a ww1 south african pair named to a cpl/pte j.o'h.campell 1st .m.c.and 4th infantry. on the bwm unit is the 1st military constabulary.am looking any information on this unit.was it a small unit ?.i read that this unit is only found on the bwm.paul

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Paul

After the end of the campaign in German South West Africa in 1915, most of the South African forces were withdrawn. The Military Constabulary was established in 1916 to provide policing in the conquered territory. The 1st Military Constabulary was established and made up of 32 officers and 1100 other ranks under the command of Major C A van Coller. Later a 2nd MC was raised. The MC was disbanded in 1919 and most of its members joined the new South West African Police.

In the case where men served only in the MC, the British War Medal was their single entitlement. However, many men had already served in other units, as in the case of your pair, so those units are named on the 1914/15 Star and Victory Medal. It is correct that the MC is named only on the BWM.

Regards

Brett

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I should have added that the information about the MC came from the book, 'Gallantry Awards of the South African Police 1913-1994' by Terence King (rhino.research@icon.co.za 2000).

The book contains a great deal of information about police and policing in southern Africa going back to 1655, when a Military Watch was established at what was to become Cape Town, so the title is bit misleading.

Brett

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Guest pikemedals

thanks again about this book. as i put this book on my xmas list to the wife.do you know anymore books about south african units in the great war which i can still buy paul

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Paul

The 'South Africans at War' series published by Ashanti Publishing (Pty) Ltd should still be available in second-hand book shops and might show up on AbeBooks.com. Books dealing with World War ! are:

Urgent Imperial Service. South African Forces in German South West Africa 1915-1915 by Gerald L'ange (1991)

They Fought for King and Kaiser. South Africans in German East Africa in 1916 by James Ambrose Brown (1991)

Pyramids and Poppies. The 1st South African Infantry Brigade in Libya, France and Flanders 1915-1919 by Peter Digby (1993)

Although not up to date, the bibliographies in these books give details of other publications on this subject.

Regards

Brett

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I would also recommend Collyer's official histories on the German South West Africa and East African campaigns. John Buchan's "THE SOUTH AFRICANS IN FRANCE" and Ewing's "THE HISTORY OF THE 9TH SCOTTISH DIVISION".

They have all been reprinted.

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The 1st and 2nd Military Constabulary each had four mounted squadrons. They were formed effectively on 3 November 1915 and conducted policing and garrison duty in German South West Africa. This took place after the five South African Mounted Regiments were withdrawn from the territory. The Constabulary acted as a military/militarised police force for rural policing and saw service on the border of Angola against tribal rebels, criminals and remnants of the German/Boer rebels. The units were disbanded on 30 June 1920.

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NOT THE CLEAREST PHOTOGRAPH BUT THE S/T IN QUESTION CAN BE SEEN IN THE MIDDLE OF SOME OF THE TITLES IN MY COLLECTION.

The Shoulder titles of 1MC, 2MC and also MC were worn in brass.

They were worn with the general service or "goat in the porthole" cap badge.

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