Castle of Good Hope Decoration

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Castle of Good Hope Decoration
Castle of Good Hope Decoration.jpg
Awarded by the Governor-General, from 1961 by the State President and from 1994 by the President
Country South Africa  South Africa
Type Military decoration for bravery
Eligibility All Ranks
Awarded for Most conspicuous bravery
Status Discontinued in 2003
Post-nominals CGH
Statistics
Established 1952
First awarded Never awarded
Precedence
Next (lower) Honoris Crux Gold (HCG)
CGHlint.gif
Ribbon bar

The Castle of Good Hope Decoration, post-nominal letters CGH, is a military decoration for bravery that was instituted by the Union of South Africa on 6 April 1952, but never awarded. The decoration was intended for award to members of the South African Defence Force for a signal act of valour or most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.[1][2]

The South African military[edit]

The Union Defence Forces (UDF) were established in 1912 and renamed the South African Defence Force (SADF) in 1958. On 27 April 1994 it was integrated with six other independent forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).[2]

Orders, decorations and medals[edit]

In April 1952 a series of military decorations and medals was instituted, consisting of substitutes for many of the British and Commonwealth awards which had earlier been used. More decorations and medals, as well as an emblem for being mentioned in dispatches, were added between 1953 and 1970. In July 1975 the military decorations and medals of the Republic were revised. Some decorations and medals were carried over from the earlier series of 1952-1975 and new awards were instituted, followed by more between 1987 and 1991. Finally, all but one of these earlier awards were discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003, when a new set of nine decorations and medals was instituted to replace them.[2][3][4][5][6]

Fount of Honour[edit]

Until 1958 the top three awards were reserved for conferment by the Queen while the rest were awarded by the Governor-General, but in 1958 the Governor-General was authorised to also award the top three. In 1961 the State President became the Fount of Honour, and in 1994 the President.[2]

Award criteria for the Castle of Good Hope Decoration[edit]

The Castle of Good Hope Decoration, post-nominal letters CGH, was instituted for award to members of the South African Defence Force for a signal act of valour or most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy in wartime. Instituted on 6 April 1952, it was the most senior of all South African orders, decorations and medals from 1952 to 2003. It was formally authorised by Queen Elizabeth II on 26 January 1953 as a South African substitute for the Victoria Cross (VC), for which South African servicemen had previously been eligible.[2][7][8]

In 1986, during the undeclared 1966-1989 Border War, the restriction to wartime acts was removed to make the decoration available to reward actions during other military operations.[7][8]

Order of precedence[edit]

The Castle of Good Hope Decoration still appeared in the official order of precedence table that was published on 3 September 1993 but, since it was never awarded and was officially discontinued on 27 April 2003, it was no longer listed when a new table was published on 11 March 2005. Until 3 September 1993 it was succeeded by the Honoris Crux Diamond (HCD) and thereafter by the Honoris Crux Gold (HCG).[9][10]

Description[edit]

Obverse

The Castle of Good Hope Decoration is a gold pentagon representing the outline of South Africa's oldest military building, the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. The obverse shows Van Riebeeck's three ships sailing into Table Bay in 1652, framed in a double ring, the inner ring decorated with a wreath of proteas and the outer inscribed "KASTEEL DE GOEDE HOOP DEKORASIE" at the top and "CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE DECORATION" at the bottom.

Reverse

The reverse has the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms and Queen Elizabeth's royal cipher (E II R) above the Coat of Arms. Only one decoration was struck.

Ribbon

The ribbon is 44 millimetres wide and green. The Castle of Good Hope Decoration was designed to be worn around the neck, but since a new specimen would have to be made without the royal cipher on the reverse in any event should it ever be awarded, it was decided in 1991 to alter it to a chest decoration. The alteration never became necessary.

Discontinuation[edit]

The Castle of Good Hope Decoration was never awarded and now never will be. Conferment of the decoration was discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003.[6][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ South African Medals Website - Post-nominal Letters
  2. ^ a b c d e South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975
  3. ^ South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003
  4. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1952-1975
  5. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1975-2003
  6. ^ a b Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 457, no. 25213, Pretoria, 25 July 2003
  7. ^ a b Alexander, E.G.M., Barron, G.K.B. and Bateman, A.J. (1986). South African Orders, Decorations and Medals. Human and Rousseau.
  8. ^ a b Monick, S, (1988). South African Military Awards 1912-1987. South African National Museum of Military History.
  9. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
  10. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, ISBN 9771682584003 27376
  11. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 26778, Pretoria, 17 September 2004