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    I collect (mainly) MILITARY MEDALS -  specialising in trying to assemble a collection of every issued Clasp of the India General Service Medal Series (1854; 1895; 1908; 1936) and one of every Clasp issued of the Army General Service Medal (1918 and 1962). So far I have just 39 of these Clasps - so a long (and expensive) way to go.......   I have been a serious Collector of Military Medals since 1980. But being a medal collector in general, and a South African - it is only natural that I should have a fair selection of South African medals and groups, too. I obviously have some South African WWI trios and pairs. Similarly, I have a good representative sample of South African WWII Groups. NOTE WELL:  In the discussion which follows, we will IGNORE any medal groups which contain Gallantry, Long Service and similar medals in the groups.

    So, in WWI the VAST MAJORITY of South African soldiers were awarded either the WWI Trio, or, at least a WWI Pair.

    And, in WWII MOST South Africans earned, probably, FOUR, FIVE or SIX medals -  this would depend on HOW LONG you served "up north" and whether you went to Italy or not. SO, the most common South African WWII Groups are:

    FOUR: 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; 1939-45 War Medal; Africa Service Medal                                                                                                                                                                                       FOUR: 1939-45 Star; Italy Star; 1939-45 War Medal; Africa Service Medal                                                                                                                                                                                        FIVE:   1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; 1939-45 War Medal; Africa Service Medal, and,                                                                                                                                                              SIX:     1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; 1939-45 Defence Medal; 1939-45 War Medal; Africa Service Medal

    And I KNOW that there are variations of these -  where just two or three medals were awarded, but in my experience, THESE are the four MOST common groups to South Africans. Also when one considers that South Africans earned over 60,500 Italy Stars, and more than 105,000 Africa Stars then the 7,200 or so OTHER STARS (excluding of course the 1939-1945 Star) awarded to South Africans do not merit discussion here. And I am also excluding things like the "8th Army" and the North Africa 1942-43" Clasps, as well. And, we are also not including in this discussion the possibility of Anglo-Boer War /  Zulu Rebellion / and Korean War medals as well. Such groups are VERY scarce.........

    Now, if you will agree with me, based on the criteria I have defined above, then it IS, and WAS most certainly POSSBLE for a South African soldier, under the "RIGHT" conditions, and IF he served in BOTH WARS, to earn what I call a "FULL HOUSE"THAT IS the WWI "TRIO" and all SIX of the WWII MEDALS. But in reality, how easy was this? To qualify for what I call the South African "FULL HOUSE" for the two World Wars, would mean a group of NINE medals - excluding gallantry, long service, coronation / jubilee medals, etc. So I checked my collection. I have South African WWI pairs and trios. Some WWI groups which include a couple (or more) WWII medals, but until a recent auction acquisition by me, NO S.A. GROUPS which give us the NINE MEDAL "FULL HOUSE" - the best I had were some five, six, seven and even eight medal groups. BUT NOW, AT LAST, a NINE MEDAL "FULL HOUSE" Group in my collection.

    So as a result, please show us (with names /  details) YOUR  "Full House" WWI / WWII groups in your collection -  excluding, as I say, gallantry, long service, etc etc.

    This would be an interesting exercise.  And I would say that - when compared to your full collection - the number of "full house" groups is probably quite small................... ???

    I have ILLUSTRATED a few groups from my own collection ("The David Bennett Collection") including the new "FULL HOUSE" group -  merely to show some representative examples of what I am talking about.

    Thank you for reading this.

    All the best,

    David Bennett

    Durban North


    There are three groups illustrated below, without details:

    The first (with a North Africa 1942-43 Clasp) is to Sgt H.J. Whitebooi, 24 Bomber Sqdn, S.A.A.F.

    The next group (of five medals) is to F/Sgt E.F. Williamson, S.A.A.F. and,

    The third group (with the 8th Army Clasp) is to Gnr. H.F.P. Combrink, S.A. Artillery.

    (I have yet to "lable" these 3 groups.) By the way, the group to COMBRINK is interesting, because

    his parents named him after the THREE LEADING WWI ALLIED MILITARY LEADERS:

    So his name is HAIG FOCH PERSHING Combrink ............ not something you see everyday !!!!!!!








    016. Lt W.A. Ogden - SAIC 2 Air Intell Liason Sect M.E..jpg

    016b. Sgt W.H, Snelling DMR - POW Tobruk.jpg

    018 Bennett Collection 589 - Sgt. H.J. Whitebooi SAAF.jpg

    019 Flt Sgt E.F. Williamson SAAF.jpg

    025 Gnr. HFP Combrink S.A. Arty.jpg

    025a. George Osborne Roach Pte - SAAC Tanks.jpg

    033 EVANS, Maj. A.H.C. - T.S.C..jpg

    035b RAWBONE, Capt. K.K. - 1 SAI; SAEC; TSC.jpg

    ANDERSON, Sgt J.W. - S.A.A.F. .jpg

    Quinn, Gnr W.J. - S.A.M.R. .jpg

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