Jack Hindon Medal (JHM) - A rare military medal, instituted in 1970 as companion to the Danie Theron Medal, and awarded to other ranks for diligent service in the Commandos. It was discontinued when the Danie Theron Medal was made available to all ranks in 1975.
Jameson Raid - An unsuccessful British attempt to seize the South African Republic in 1896. A small military force commanded by Dr Starr Jameson invaded the republic, expecting to be supported by an English uprising in Johannesburg, but the Boer forces crushed the uprising and captured Jameson's column. The Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps Medal was issued to members of one of the Boer units involved.
Jansen, Mabel DMS - Widow of a former governor-general. She appears to have been the first woman to be awarded a high state honour: the Decoration for Meritorious Service (1976) for her services to Afrikaans culture.
JCD - Post-nominal letters for the John Chard Decoration.
JHM - Post-nominal letters for the Jack Hindon Medal.
Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps Medal - A military medal issued in 1899 by the commanding officer of the Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps (Johannesburg Volunteer Corps) to members of the unit who had served in operations against the Jameson raiders in 1896, and in Swaziland in 1897.
John Chard Decoration (JCD) - A military medal, instituted in 1952 and awarded to Citizen Force members (all ranks) after 20 years efficient service. It was superseded in 2003 by the Medalje vir Troue Diens and the Emblem for Reserve Force Service.
John Chard Medal - Also instituted in 1952, this medal was awarded to members of the Citizen Force after 12 years service (reduced to 10 years from 1986). It was superseded by the Medalje vir Troue Diens in 2003.
Joubert, Lt D. CC - First recipient of the SA Medical Service Cross, in 1993.
Joubert, Renée - Designer of the 1939 King's Medal for Bravery. Hers was the winning entry in a public competition to find a suitable design.
KaNgwane - One of the former African homelands inside South Africa. It was self-governing from 1984 to 1994. KaNgwane had its own police force, and its own police medals, which became obsolete when the homeland was reincorporated into South Africa in 1994.
Kimberley Star - see Mayor's Siege Medal.
King - From 1901 to 1952, South Africa's head of state - and fount of honour - was the British king.
King Edward VII - Head of state 1901-10. He instituted the Natal Native Rebellion Medal (1907). His effigy was depicted on that medal, and on the distinguished conduct and long service medals of the colonial forces during his reign. His E VII RI cipher was displayed on the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officer's Decoration.
King George V - Head of state 1910-36. He instituted the Union of South Africa Commemoration Medal (1910). His effigy was depicted on that medal, and on the Union Defence Forces' long service medals issued during his reign. His GRI cipher was displayed on the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration and the RNVR Volunteer officers' Decoration.
King George VI - Head of state 1936-52. He instituted the King's Police Medal (1937), the King's Medal for Bravery (1939), and various military medals (1939-50). His effigy was depicted on most of them. His GRI cipher was displayed on the Efficiency Decoration and the RNVR Volunteer officers Decoration.
King's Commendation for Bravery - A bronze protea flower emblem introduced in 1941 to recognise valuable military or civilian services connected with World War II. It was worn on the ribbons of the Africa Service Medal or the SA Medal for War Services, or else on the lapel.
King's Medal for Bravery - see Queen's Medal for Bravery.
King's Police Medal - see Queen's Police Medal.
Korea Medal - Instituted in 1953 for Union Defence Forces volunteers who served in the Korean War. It was the first campaign medal in the new independent South African honours system. Recipients also received the United Nations Service Medal and the South Korean medal for the war.
Korean War - The Union Defence Forces contributed some Army staff officers to the British Commonwealth Division, and an air force squadron which was attached to the US Air Force. They were on active service from 1950 to 1953.
The South African contingent received more than 300 American and South Korean decorations. The air force unit (2 Squadron) was awarded both the US and South Korean Presidential Unit Citations, and South Korea awarded its Order of Military Merit collectively to the South African servicemen who died in the war. The campaign medals were the Korea Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the South Korean war medal.
KwaNdebele - One of the former African homelands inside South Africa. It was self-governing from 1972 to 1994. KwaNdebele had its own police force, and its own series of police decorations and medals, which became obsolete when the homeland was reincorporated into South Africa in 1994.
KwaZulu - One of the former African homelands inside South Africa. It was self-governing from 1977 to 1994. KwaZulu had its own police force and prisons service, and its own series of police and prisons services decorations and medals, which became obsolete when the homeland was reincorporated into South Africa in 1994.
Le Roux, Johannes - First (posthumous) recipient of the Woltemade Decoration for Bravery (Silver), in 1973. This teenager sacrificed his life by staying aboard a school bus, which was trapped in the path of an oncoming train, to help others escape.
Lebowa - One of the former African homelands inside South Africa. It was self-governing from 1972 to 1994. Lebowa had its own police force, and its own series of police decorations and medals, which became obsolete when the homeland was reincorporated into South Africa in 1994.
Leyds, Dr Willem - Transvaal secretary of state and intelligence chief before the Anglo-Boer War. The Leyds Medal for Merit (1987) was named after him.
Leyds Medal for Merit - see NIS Medal for Distinguished Service (Bronze).
Liberia - Since 2003, SA National Defence Force contingents have been serving in the United Nations mission (UNMIL) in Liberia.
Lint voor Verwonding - A military award instituted in 1920 for Anglo-Boer War veterans who had been wounded while serving in the Boer forces during that war. It consisted of a ribbon only.
Local Authorities - Several municipalities have (or had?) their own medals, including long service awards for firemen and traffic officers. Presidential approval is required to wear them with official state awards.
Long Service Medals - These are or have been awarded to members of the defence force, police, correctional services and intelligence service, to recognise completion of prescribed periods of service in those organisations. Good conduct is also a requirement. Until 1917, long service decorations ranked after decorations for gallantry while long service medals ranked after camnpaign medals, but since then all long service awards have ranked after campaign and commemorative medals. Alternative terms such as "good service", "faithful service" and, currently, "loyal service", are also used.
Until 1952, the defence forces used British long service awards, which differentiated between full-time and part-time forces, between officers and other ranks, and between the different branches of service. The prisons service, police, railways police also followed the military model. In 1952, the defence force eliminated rank differentiation, and the other organisations followed their lead in the 1960s. In 1975, the defence force rationalised qualifying periods to a system of granting awards cumulatively at 10-year intervals, and this too was later adopted by the other services. Finally, in 2003, the defence force abolished the differentiation between regular and reserve personnel, and it now has a single medal open to everyone.
Because of these changes in the system, South Africa has had a considerable number of long service medals since they were introduced in 1894:
Colonial/Union Defence Forces: Medal for Long Service & Good Conduct, Medal for Meritorious Service, Volunteer Officers' Decoration, Volunteer Long Service Medal, Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration, Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal, RNVR Volunteer Officers' Decorations, and RNVR Medal for Long Service & Good Conduct.
Department of Correctional Services: Faithful Service Medal of the Prisons Department, Medal for Faithful Service in the SAPS, DCS Medal for Faithful Service.
SA Police: Police Good Service Medal, SAP Star for Merit, SAP Medal for Faithful Service, SAP Star for Faithful Service.
SA Railways Police Force: Railways Police Good Service Medal, Star for Merit in the SARPF, Medal for Faithful Service in the SARPF, SARP Star for Faithful Service.
SA Defence Force: PF Good Service Medal, John Chard Decoration, John Chard Medal, De Wet Decoration, Cadet Corps Medal, Good Service Medal, Medal for Distinguished Conduct & Loyal Service, De Wet Medal.
Public Service: Prime Minister's Award, Service Award.
National Intelligence Service: NIS Medal for Faithful Service.
Azanian People's Liberation Army: Service Medal.
Umkhonto weSizwe: Service Medal.
SA National Defence Force: Medalje vir Troue Diens.
SA Police Service: SAPS Forty Years Loyal Service Medal, SAPS Thirty Years Loyal Service Medal, SAPS Twenty Years Loyal Service Medal, SAPS Ten Years Service Loyal Medal.
Intelligence Services: IS Loyal Service Medal.
Louw Wepener Decoration (LWD) - A 1st-level military decoration, instituted in 1952 for most conspicuous courage in circumstances where other military decorations were not appropriate (which usually meant non-operational situations). It was a substitute for the (British) George Cross. The decoration was replaced by the Honoris Crux Gold in 1975.
Louw Wepener Medal (LWM) - This 2nd-level military decoration was instituted in 1967 for acts of bravery of a lower degree than those for which the Louw Wepener Decoration was awarded. It was superseded by the Honoris Crux Silver in 1975.
Loyal Service Medals - The term used since 2003 for long service medals.
Luthuli, Chief Albert OSG - Former leader of the African National Congress. South Africa's first Nobel Peace Prize recipient (1960). He was posthumously awarded the Order of the Southern Cross, and the Order of Luthuli (2003) was named after him.
Luthuli, Order of - see Order of Luthuli.
LWD - Post-nominal letters for the Louw Wepener Decoration.
LWM - Post-nominal letters for the Louw Wepener Medal.