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How forthcoming is the SADF about numbers of medals issued?

Wessel Gordon

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I spent the past weekend going through my collections (USA, UK and SADF) and was wondering how forthcoming the SADF would be about telling a collector (out of mere curiosity) how many of each of the medals he has has been actually bestowed on soldiers? All I'm interested in is roughly how many was awarded...the citation for every award and the name of recipient does not interest me in the least. Since my collection stopped before the new series of 1994 was instituted I'm guessing the answers to that kind of question lies buried under a few meters of dust by now.


Or am I missing a vital research book that might shed light on the question?


I am also interested to know how many medals was awarded for my USA and UK medals but unless I have the right research material and/or patience the answer would only be given during the lifetimes of my brother's great-great-great grandchildren.

The only research book I have is ''South African Orders, Decorations and Medals''' by Alexander Barron and Bateman printed in 1986 which is a woeful 155 pages thick. Is there any other research book on USA, UK and SA Orders, Decorations and Medals that's worth looking for?


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Does the South African Mint Manufacture them? If so it might be worth contacting them.


By the way congratulations with the rugby you showed real hunger and resolve, a group of paraplegic warthogs could have put in a better and more impassioned performance than the England XV


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The book you mention was essentially the only one for many years and is still a good reference for the period. Another book that came out a few years ago is "A Guide to South African Military Awards" by Paul  Matthysen. This is a good reference for the different types found e.g the various Pro Patrias but not much on numbers. Apart from Barron et al there are the Forsyth rolls for commonwealth awards. I stand to be corrected but believe little if any info on up to date numbers for SA awards is available from the SANDF (SADF was combined with MK and APLA post 1994, to form the SANDF, so strictly speaking no longer exists)

Edited by gavinmedals
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Paul and Gavin,

Thanks for the replies.

Paul, I'm not sure who manufactured the medals but it might be worthwhile to find out.

Gavin, I suspect you're right that after the amalgamation the military records of the previous regime was either stored in a bunker for all eternity with nobody having access or that the records was used to start bonfires after we won the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Interestingly enough the only ''reliable'' numbers I could find about medal numbers are about the Honoris Crux (1975) series. But that might be due to the fact that an award of one was reported widely under the old regime to boost morale. 





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