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QSA & Boere Oorlog Medals

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739 Pte.N.J.Webber. Grahamstown Town Guard

The capital of the Eastern Cape - which included

Port Elizabeth and East London. They had no

major engagements , although a number of local

engagements. He has a high number but about

200 at any time.


The Boere Oorlog medal was issued from the 1920's

onwards. A double sided medal, this shows the Sth.

African Republic Arms - with the ribbon having yellow

to the right. About 12,000 were issued.


This shows the side with the Orange Free State Arms

the ribbon has the green side to the chest.

This medal was awarded to Marthinus SWANEPOEL of

ERMELO COMMANDO. This unit - under Commandant

Grobler , had a total of 963 members throughout the War.

They had an exceptional number of Battles and locations -

several of which would have earned them Bars in the British


Colenso ; Ladysmith ; Vaalkrans ; Brandfort ; Graskop ;

Ermelo ; Belfast ; Blauwkop ; Diamond Hill..

The reason I have included these two medals together is to show their differences. We often

see them on this Forum but, rarely together. They are both 1oz. of silver + the clasp. The big

difference in their issue dates was quite simply because the Boers lost the War and we do not

issue medals under those circumstances. However, during WW1 many Afrikaaners - as they

became known - joined the British Forces. This was to be expected - during the Boer War, far

more Boers fought on the British side then on the Boer.

When WW1 finished many Afrikaaners complained that they felt disadvantaged by the British

having the Boer War Medal. Field Marshall Smuts was Prime Minister and agreed that they

should be eligible for a medal covering the Boer War. He created the Boere Oorlog for Loyal

Service and the Dekoratie Voor Trouwe Dienst for minor Gallantry. Only 591 of these were

granted. To qualify they had to provide proof they had fought the British without surrendering

or, taking Parole or, The Oath of Allegience before May 31st 1902.

People often collect medals without realising the full history behind them. I hope this helps.

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We must differentiate between surrendering/being Captured and laying down arms.

Boers who made a concious decision to lay down their arms and either to simply stop fighting, or swearing an oath to stop fighting did not qualify. However, those who were captured and then sent to POW camps (Usually out of the country) did qualify.



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