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Unusual Chaplain's Cap for Sth. Africa


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Material such as badges and Caps for Army Chaplains has always had a following - unfortunately,

by their very nature they are 'thin' on the ground.

This lovely example dates back to the early 1970's and has a very interesting story attached. I will not

identify the family - however, they were Dutch and Jewish. Early in the War, the Grandfather realised

the danger to Jewish people posed by Germany and arranged for his son and his wife to come over to

South Africa.

Unfortunately, he and his wife decided to stay in Holland and were captured and sent to Auchwitz - where

they died. The son has a very poignant letter sent by his Father before he died.

The son and his family settled in Sth. Africa and the Father served in the Army. In 1956 he converted

to Christianity - we will never know what prompted the change - I have never heard of the conversion

this way . This was enhanced by his being Ordained in 1968 as an Anglican Minister. He later re-joined the Army as a Padre.

I feel that the story enhances the interest for the cap.

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Nice cap & story. I have been looking for the purple ("mauve" apparently but looks purple to me) cap band for one of these for ages as well as the Chi-Rho monogram rank insignia.

In 1968 the SA Army introduced a triangular rank device with the XP (chi-rho) monogram thereon to identify Christian chaplains. All padres except for senior staff officers such as the Chaplain-General were ranked simply as "Chaplain" or "Kapelaan" and wore the triangle insignia on the shoulder strap along with purple ("mauve") gorgets on the collar.

Chaplains were considered equivalent status to Commandant (as Lieut-Colonels were known from 1952-94) hence the protea embroidery on the peak.

National Servicemen CPLNs were a different matter though as far as ranking went. I seem to think they had adifferent insignia and were equivalent in status to 2/Lt. If anyone can clarify that would be great!

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