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Medals and Decorations of the South African Armed Forces


Medals and Decorations of the South African Defence Force (SADF)


The Woltemade Decoration for Bravery, Gold is the senior of two classes of South Africa's highest civilian decoration for bravery. It could be awarded to South African citizens who performed acts of conspicuous bravery within or beyond the borders of the Republic of South Africa, and also to non-citizens who had distinguished themselves in this manner in the Republic or in territories belonging to or administered by the Republic, or who elsewhere and in the face of extreme danger had saved the lives of South African citizens or protected property belonging to the Republic, or endeavoured to do so. The decoration was named in memory of Wolraad Woltemade, an elderly servant of the Dutch East India Company, who gave his life while rescuing shipwrecked sailors in Table Bay on 1 June 1773. The ship De Jonge Thomas broke anchor in a gale force Northwestern and was driven ashore in the Salt River Mouth. Woltemade rode his horse into the sea seven times and brought surviving sailors ashore each time, but on the eighth excursion Woltemade and his exhausted horse were overladen by panic-stricken sailors and drowned. The Woltemade Decoration for Bravery, Gold was instituted by Warrant of 20 May 1970, published in the South African Government Gazette no. 2718 dated 29 May 1970. The Warrant was amended twice, on 11 November 1971 and 30 May 1973. It was discontinued in 1988, when it was replaced by the Woltemade Cross for Bravery, Gold (WD).
Non-Military Decorations

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