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The Orange Free Sate was a Boer Colony that adjoined the Transvaal and the South African Republic. They did

not have the numbers of the Transvaal - however, they had a proper administration under a President - and a small

uniformed Army. Part of this was the Oranje Vrystaat Artillerie - numbering less then 200 men. By the end of 1900

they had expanded to approx. 400 men.

Only small numbers of men actually were organised as units and wore Uniforms. The Police, the President's Guard and

the Artillery. The set battles and military formations ceased to exist towards the end of 1900 when Pretoria was captured

and the British had established superior Forces. The fighting was taken over by the Boer Kommando units and they

continued the fight until surrendering in 1902.

 

This is a slouch hat badge for the OVS Artillerie - and with such small numbers is a rare item. I expect Will has further

examples and variations in his collection and hopefully he will be able to show them in the future.

 

I showed in the Medal section a rare civilian QSA to an accountant. You will see from his bars that he served in Cape

Colony and the Orange Free State - since these two items have been kept together over the years I suspect that he

acquired the badge whilst serving-in the OFS.

post-6209-0-28955700-1383387399_thumb.jp

 

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_11_2013/post-6209-0-28955700-1383387399.jpgclick

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Gents,

Sadly I have been "off forum" for rather a long time. I so wish I had seen this thread sooner and been able to communicate with Mervyn. I recently found a brass belt buckle of the type used by the German military, i.e. with a post and spikes on the back to engage in the leather belt. It has the Oranje Vrystaat banner and crossed flags badge, which has been identified as that of the O.V.S. Artillerie. I had no idea what it was when I found it in a local collectors shop here on the Isle of Wight.

It is possible to see a name (?) engraved on the rear - looks like H. HAM? 

Just thought I'd share with anyone interested.

 

Kevin.

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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Very nice Kevin, I suspect the H Ham may well be the name of the person who acquired it during the Boer War as a souvenir. Very interesting and quite rare.

Paul

 

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Thank you Paul. That's a good suggestion. It certainly doesn't sound very Germanic. I've read that the Orange Free State artillery were commanded by a Prussian named Albrecht and may have had a strong Prussian contingent? Their (dress) uniforms certainly have a Prussian theme - Picklehaubs etc. I'd love to find a picture of their uniform showing the belt buckle in wear.

Kevin.

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Kevin this is a very scarce buckle indeed .On the eve of the second Boer War ,commonly known as the Boer War ,in 1898 the Orange Free State artillery had a strength of about 160 men which included officers under the Leadership of Major Richard Friedrich Wilhelm  Albrecht. The possessed about 24 guns (cannons) of various calibers at that stage .

Albrecht was a Prussian ,who had seen service in the Franco Prussian war ,was recruited in Germany and contracted by President Brand of the Orange Free State in 1880  ,to head up and  build up the artillery corps there .Albrecht ,who had 12 years service in the Prussian artillery ,took over a very small Artillery Corps with the rank of a Captain and had become a Major by 1898..(Source Artlillery of the Anglo-Boer War by Lional Crook)

Major Albrecht.jpg

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Hello Piekenier,

Many thanks for the picture of the Major and the photo of the actual artillery unit.

Strange what turns up in remote places, isn't it? I hadn't realised my luck the day I spotted it in the shop. I don't collect anything specifically, other than Japanese swords and fittings, but pick up any interesting items along the way - as you can usually swap or part exchange for something you like.

Can you give me an approx valuation for this item please?

Regards,

Kevin.

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That's a neat photo Paul. You can see belt buckles...is that the one I wonder?

Kevin.

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That's interesting Chris - an expensive buckle! How would my artillery buckle compare in terms of rarity, as I'm not familiar with any of these Boer War uniform items?

Thanks in anticipation,

Kevin.

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Hi,

I think it may be for the ZARP, or transvaal police. Some time ago I would have grabbed it with both hands. I have never seen one before. As my collecting field has changed I will pass.

Best

Chris

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Given the size of the Free State forces I would have thought the buckle is of great rarity, while a ZARP badge is very nice I would have thought it would be easier to obtain (although still difficult).

Paul

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Wow, best bit of luck I think I've ever had! 

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