John Chard Decoration

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John Chard Decoration
John Chard Decoration (JCD) a.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 long service decoration
Eligibility Members of the Citizen Force
Awarded for 20 years service
Status Discontinued in 2003
Post-nominals JCD
Statistics
Established 1952
First awarded 1955
Last awarded 4 December 2008
Precedence
Next (higher)
SADF precedence:[1]
Next (lower)
SADF succession:[1]
SANDF succession:[2]
JCD lint.jpg
Ribbon bar

The John Chard Decoration, post-nominal letters JCD, was a military long service decoration that was instituted by the Union of South Africa on 6 April 1952. It was awarded to members of the Citizen Force of the South African Defence Force for twenty years of efficient service and good conduct. Clasps could be awarded after thirty and forty years service respectively.[3][4]

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).[3]

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.[3][4][5][6][7]

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.[3]

Minting[edit]

Initially all South African military orders, decorations and medals were minted by the South African Mint, but with effect from c. 1980 the manufacturing of all new awards as well as the further production of older awards were put out to tender by private enterprises. Since the tooling of the older awards was retained by the Mint, private manufacturers had to manufacture their own tooling, which resulted in several variations in appearance and quality.

Award criteria for the John Chard Decoration[edit]

The John Chard Decoration, post-nominal letters JCD, was instituted by the Union of South Africa on 6 April 1952 for award to all ranks of the Citizen Force for twenty years efficient service, not necessarily continuous. It was one of only two awards for long service that entitled the recipient to the use of post-nominal letters, the other being the De Wet Decoration (DWD) that was awarded to Commando members. In respect of officers the John Chard Decoration replaced the Efficiency Decoration which had been awarded to officers of the Citizen Force between 1939 and 1952. It was named after John Chard VC, the lieutenant in command of the supply depot at Rorke's Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War when it was attacked by Zulus in January 1879. Upon being awarded the John Chard Decoration, recipients of the John Chard Medal were no longer allowed to wear the medal.[3][8]

A clasp could be awarded to holders of the John Chard Decoration after 30 years service and in 1977 a second clasp was instituted for award after 40 years service.[4]

From 1 July 1975, when the Good Service Medal, Silver was instituted as the middle award in a new series of three medals for long service for members of all three elements of the South African Defence Force, qualifying Citizen Force members who had already been awarded the John Chard Medal but who had not yet been awarded the John Chard Decoration, could elect to receive the Good Service Medal, Silver instead, but such members would thereafter be restricted to the series chosen.[8]

The choice was therefore between, on the one hand, a further two medals that would, together with the John Chard Medal, eventually reward thirty years service and of which all three medals could be worn together, once awarded, and on the other hand the existing Citizen Force series of a medal, a decoration that entitled the recipient to the post-nominal letters JCD and, after thirty and forty years respectively, clasps to the decoration, of which only the decoration (and clasps) could be worn once awarded. To resolve the issue, recipients of the John Chard Decoration were allowed from 1986 to wear both the decoration and the medal. Members who elected to receive the John Chard series would, however, still be excluded from receiving the Good Service Medal, Gold after completing thirty years of qualifying service.[4]

Order of precedence[edit]

The position of the John Chard Decoration in the official order of precedence was revised three times after 1975 to accommodate the inclusion or institution of new decorations and medals, first with the integration into the South African National Defence Force on 27 April 1994, again in April 1996 when decorations and medals were belatedly instituted for the two former non-statutory forces, the Azanian People's Liberation Army and Umkhonto we Sizwe, and finally with the institution of a new set of awards on 27 April 2003.[1][2]

South African Defence Force until 26 April 1994
  • Official national order of precedence:
    • Preceded by the National Intelligence Service Medal for Faithful Service, 30 Years.
    • Succeeded by the De Wet Decoration (DWD).[1]
South African National Defence Force from 27 April 1994
South African National Defence Force from April 1996
South African National Defence Force from 27 April 2003

Description[edit]

Obverse
Raised rim on reverse and separate suspender

The John Chard Decoration is an oval medallion struck in silver, 39 millimetres wide, 51 millimetres high and 3 millimetres thick. It depicts a tree, the river and the mission station at Rorke's Drift in Natal, the scene of the 1879 battle in which Lieutenant Chard and ten of his men won the Victoria Cross (VC), and is inscribed "RORKE'S DRIFT 1879". The scene is surrounded by the inscriptions "JOHN CHARD" at the top and "DECORATION : DEKORASIE" at the bottom.[3]

Reverse

The reverse has the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms and the original decorations, minted by the South African Mint, have a raised rim and a separately struck ribbon suspender that is soldered to the top of the decoration, such as the one depicted alongside. The decoration number was stamped or engraved at the bottom on the rim.[9]

With effect from c. 1980 further production of the decoration was put out to tender by private enterprises. Poor quality control and cost cutting by manufacturers resulted in the acceptance and award of a large number of decorations that were struck in nickel plated bronze instead of silver, less than 3 millimetres thick, with no raised rim on the reverse, with the ribbon suspender struck as an integral part of the decoration and even with the Coat of Arms off centre, such as the one depicted at the top.[10]

Ribbon

The ribbon is the same as the ribbon for the John Chard Medal, 32 millimetres wide with a 3 millimetres wide dark blue band, a 2 millimetres wide white band, a 22 millimetres wide dark red band, a 2 millimetres wide white band and a 3 millimetres wide dark blue band. Distinguishing insignia in silver are worn on the ribbon, but not on the ribbon bar, to denote the Arm of the Service in which the qualifying service was rendered, crossed swords for the South African Army, an eagle for the South African Air Force and an anchor for the South African Navy. A silver button inscribed "JCD" is worn on the ribbon bar.[3][8]

Clasps
John chard decoration.jpg

The clasps are struck in silver (thirty years) and silver-gilt (forty years) and have a circle containing the letters "JCD" embossed in the centre.

Discontinuation[edit]

Conferment of the John Chard Decoration was discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003, when it was replaced by the new Medalje vir Troue Diens and Bar, 20 years.[7][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, ISBN 9771682584003 27376
  3. ^ a b c d e f g South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975
  4. ^ a b c d South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003
  5. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1952-1975
  6. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1975-2003
  7. ^ a b Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 457, no. 25213, Pretoria, 25 July 2003
  8. ^ a b c Alexander, E.G.M., Barron, G.K.B. and Bateman, A.J. (1986). South African Orders, Decorations and Medals. Human and Rousseau. p. 160.
  9. ^ John Chard Decoration with raised rim
  10. ^ John Chard Decoration without raised rim
  11. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 26778, Pretoria, 17 September 2004