South African
Medal Website
South African
Honours and Awards
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Updated: May 2006
© Arthur Radburn

Boer Republican Forces

Unlike the British colonies in South Africa, neither of the Boer republics - the Oranje Vrystaat (OVS) and the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) - had official honours systems. A problem arose after the Union Defence Forces were formed in 1912, because the ex-colonial forces personnel wore medals for the Anglo-Boer War, while the ex-Boer forces personnel had none. The problem was solved in December 1920, by instituting a series of three awards for the Boer veterans.

The medals were innovative (and unique in South Africa) in each having a ZAR side and an OVS side, with reversible ribbons, so that recipients could wear them whichever way round was appropriate for them.


Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst (DTD) (1920)
The "Decoration for Devoted Service", awarded to former officers for distinguished and especially meritorious service during the war (equivalent to the British Distinguished Service Order). Altogether, 645 decorations were granted, some of them posthumously.

Insignia: A silver circular medal, displaying the ZAR arms on a cross on one side and the OVS arms on a cross on the other, and the words "Voor Trouwe Dienst 1899-1902" on both sides.

Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek en Oranje Vrystaat Oorlogsmedalje (1920)
The "SA Republic and Orange Free State War Medal", often referred to as the "Anglo-Boere Oorlog Medal", was issued to veterans who had served in the field between 11 October 1899 and 31 May 1902, provided they were still serving on the latter date. Around 13 750 medals were issued, some as late as the 1980s.

Insignia: A silver circular medal depicting the ZAR arms in an ornamental frame on one side, and the OVS arms on the other, and "Anglo-Boere Oorlog 1899-1902" on both.

Lint voor Verwonding (1920)
This "Wounds Ribbon", granted to those who had been wounded in action, was unique both in its purpose and in consisting only of a ribbon.

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