John Chard Medal
|John Chard Medal|
|Awarded by the Governor-General, from 1961 by the State President and from 1994 by the President|
|Type||Military long service medal|
|Eligibility||Members of the Citizen Force|
|Awarded for||Until 1986: 12 years service
From 1986: 10 years service
|Status||Discontinued in 2003|
The John Chard Medal is a military long service medal that was instituted by the Union of South Africa on 6 April 1952. Until 1986 it was awarded to members of the Citizen Force of the South African Defence Force for twelve years of efficient service and good conduct. In 1986 the period of qualiying service was reduced to ten years.
The South African military
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).
Orders, decorations and medals
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.
Fount of Honour
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.
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 Medal
The John Chard Medal was instituted by the Union of South Africa on 6 April 1952, to replace the Efficiency Medal and the Air Efficiency Award which had been awarded to members 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. The medal was awarded to all ranks of the Citizen Force for twelve years efficient service, not necessarily continuous. After a further eight years a recipient could qualify for the award of the John Chard Decoration (JCD), but upon being awarded the decoration the recipient was no longer allowed to wear the medal.
From 1 July 1975, when the Good Service Medal, Bronze was instituted as the junior 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 not yet been awarded the John Chard Medal could elect to receive the Good Service Medal, Bronze instead, but such members would thereafter be restricted to the series chosen.
The choice was therefore between, on the one hand, the new series of three medals that would together 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 years, a clasp to the decoration, of which only the decoration (and clasp) could be worn once awarded. In addition, the choice entailed that a member who qualified for the award of a Good Service Medal, Bronze after ten years service would have to elect to wait another two years for recognition, should the John Chard series of awards be preferred.
To resolve the issue, the period of qualifying service for the John Chard Medal was reduced to ten years in 1986, to bring the John Chard series of Citizen Force long service awards in line with the Good Service Medal series. In addition, recipients of the John Chard Decoration were now allowed 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.
Order of precedence
The position of the John Chard Medal in the official order of precedence was revised twice 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 and again with the institution of a new set of awards on 27 April 2003.
- South African Defence Force until 26 April 1994
- Official SADF order of precedence:
- Official national order of precedence:
- Preceded by the Medal for Faithful Service in the Railways Police.
- Succeeded by the Police Medal for Faithful Service.
- South African National Defence Force from 27 April 1994
- Official SANDF order of precedence:
- Official national order of precedence:
The position of the John Chard Medal in the order of precedence remained unchanged, as it was on 27 April 1994, when a new series of military orders, decorations and medals was instituted on 27 April 2003.
The John Chard Medal is an oval medallion struck in bronze, 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 "MEDALJE : MEDAL" at the bottom.
The reverse has the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms and the original medals, minted by the South African Mint, have a raised rim and a separately struck ribbon suspender that is soldered to the top of the medal, such as the one depicted alongside. The medal number was stamped or engraved at the bottom on the rim.
With effect from c. 1980 further production of the medal 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 medals that were less than 3 millimetres thick, with no raised rim on the reverse and with the ribbon suspender struck as an integral part of the medal, such as the one depicted at the top.
The ribbon is 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.
- Efficiency Medal
- Efficiency Medal (South Africa)
- John Chard Decoration
- South African honours system
- South African military decorations
- South African military decorations order of precedence
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, ISBN 9771682584003 27376
- South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975
- South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003
- Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1952-1975
- Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1975-2003
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 457, no. 25213, Pretoria, 25 July 2003
- Alexander, E.G.M., Barron, G.K.B. and Bateman, A.J. (1986). South African Orders, Decorations and Medals. Human and Rousseau. p. 160.
- John Chard Medal with raised rim
- John Chard Medal without raised rim
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 26778, Pretoria, 17 September 2004