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In the early 1960s, a decision was made to award a medal to those police dogs who distinguished themselves in the line of duty. This medal, entitled the Medal of Honour for Courage and Faithfulness, was awarded for the first time in 1964. The award was to be considered annually on the recommendation of the Commanding Officer of the Dog School.

In a move to keep costs to a minimum, and also possibly as a result of the Police Good Service Medal serving a dual purpose of being an award for long service as well as an award for gallantry, redundant stocks of this medal were used for the above award. The medal was issued named around the rim to the dog and it appears that only the third issue of the Police Good Service Medal was used for this award, presumably as a result of this issue being the only redundant stock available. Over the years, however, there has been no uniformity in the issuing of these awards.

While some awards were the standard Police Good Service Medal, other awards have had the reverse inscription of the Police Good Service Medal removed, and have been engraved with a variety of inscriptions. These inscriptions all appear to be in Afrikaans.

The award was officially known as the South African Police Medal of Honour for Courage and Faithfulness. In numerous Force Orders. However, it has been given various other designations such as Medal for Courage and Loyalty, Medal for Distinguished Service, Medal of Honour for Faithful and Meritorious Service and Medal of Honour for Courage and Loyalty. These errors, and lack of uniformity are possibly as a result of there being no official documentation available for the institution and awarding of this medal. It is possible that over the years, those tasked with compiling the memorandum and those involved in translating citations from Afrikaans to English and vice versa, for publication in Force Orders, have used their own interpretation of the title of the award instead of adhering to the officially accepted title.

The medal was awarded suspended from a ribbon which was long enough to be sewn into a loop to be suspended around the neck of the dog. Once again there has been no uniformity as far as the ribbon is concerned, with some awards being issued with the original Police Good Service Medal ribbon while others have been awarded suspended from a dark blue ribbon with a wide yellow central stripe. Two different sizes of this blue and yellow ribbon have been used. The first is 30mm wide and has a central yellow stripe of 9mm wide. The second is 44mm wide and also has a central stripe of 9mm.

The diversity of the ribbon used, the variety of the inscriptions on the reverse of the medal and the naming details around the rim, have made it impossible to give a general description of this award in respect of the above details. For this reason, where the medals have been available, the ribbon details, obverse details and the naming details around the rim have been given at the end of each dog's citation.

Over the years, the rule was for the dog handler to return his dog's medal to the South African Police Dog School in Pretoria on the death of the dog. It appears, however, that this rule has not been adhered to as to date (2001), the dog school is in possession of only six medals.

From 1963 to 2001, a total of 33 awards have been traced.


Found this on the internet, thought it was of interest to collectors.



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