on 31 December
|First solid gold medal for SADF |
By 2Lt Kevin McCallum
Members of the South African Defence Force or the Auxiliary Service who have rendered loyal service for forty years or more, will be rewarded with the SADF’s first solid gold medal, the Medal for Distinguished Conduct and Loyal Service.
The medal, which was instituted by the State President, is struck in 9ct gold. It is circular in shape with a diameter of 38 millimetres and depicts the embellished Arms of the Republic of South Africa on its obverse. The reverse of the medal depicts the Roman numerals XL surrounded by a laurel wreath.
Brig (Prof) Deon Fourie of UNISA, chairman of a special work group on medals for the South African Defence Force, has recently returned from London were he was told by the Chancellory of Orders that there are very few decorations in Great Britain, which are manufactured from gold. Only a few very old pieces, such as the "Order of the Garter", were struck in gold. Recipients of the "Order of the Garter" have to sign an undertaking that the decoration would be handed back on death, promotion or on leaving the country. Thus, when Sir Winston Churchill became a Knight of the Garter, he received the decoration which was originally manufactured for Lord Marlborough in 1704.
The Medal for Distinguished Conduct and Loyal Service will, however, not have to be returned, although the recipients must also adhere to certain rules. They may not pledge, barter, sell or dispose of the award in any way other than by testamentary bequest. The recipients must also continue to show the same behaviour and loyalty that they displayed before receiving the medal.
The medal is obviously only awarded to certain categories of people. As the medal was instituted under the hand of the State President on 4 November 1987, those members of the SADF who have completed forty years of service on, or after this date, whose character and conduct have been irreproachable, and who, on the date of qualifying are serving in the Defence Force, will be recipients of this prestigious medal.
The medal may also be awarded to those members who have completed forty years service before 4 November 1987 and were still serving on, or after this date.
The Medal for Distinguished Conduct and Loyal Service replaces the clasp (40 year) to the SADF Good Service (Gold) for thirty years service, provided the conditions for the Distinguished Conduct and Loyal Service Medal have been met. Recipients of the John Chard and De Wet series and who have complied with the conditions of the State President's warrant for the award also qualify.
Members other than those presently still serving, who qualify and would like to receive the medal, should apply through their respective Arms of the Service to the Chief of Staff Personnel.
SOURCE: PARATUS • DECEMBER 1991