Southern Cross Medal (1952)

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Southern Cross Medal (1952)
Southern Cross Medal (SM) 1952.jpg
Awarded by the Governor-General and, from 1961, the State President
Country  South Africa
Type Military decoration for merit
Eligibility All ranks until 1967
Officers from 1967
Awarded for Outstanding devotion to duty
Status Discontinued in 1975
Post-nominals SM
Statistics
Established 1952
First awarded 1960
Precedence
Next (higher)
SADF precedence:[1]
SANDF precedence:[2]
Next (lower)
SADF succession:[1]
SANDF succession:[2]
SM1lint.gif
Ribbon bar

The Southern Cross Medal of 1952, post-nominal letters SM, is a military decoration that was instituted by the Union of South Africa in 1952. It was awarded for outstanding devotion to duty and was originally available to all ranks, but from 1967 until it was discontinued in July 1975 it was reserved for officers.[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).[4]

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.[4][5][6][7][8]

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.[4]

Award criteria for the Southern Cross Medal of 1952[edit]

The Southern Cross Medal of 1952, post-nominal letters SM, was instituted on 6 April 1952 and was awarded to members of the South African Defence Force for outstanding devotion to duty.[4][9] The first awards were made on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Union of South Africa in 1960.

From 1952 to 1967 the award could be made to all ranks, until an equivalent award for other ranks, the Pro Merito Medal, was introduced in 1967 and the award of the Southern Cross Medal was restricted to officers.[4]

Order of precedence[edit]

The position of the Southern Cross Medal of 1952 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, but it remained unchanged on both occasions.[1][2]

Official SANDF order of precedence
Official national order of precedence

Description[edit]

Obverse

The Southern Cross Medal of 1952 is a medallion struck in silver, 38 millimetres in diameter and 3 millimetres thick, depicting the stars of the Southern Cross against a dark blue enameled background, framed in a circle of oak leaves.

Reverse

The reverse has the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms. Specimens that were struck before South Africa became a republic in 1961 have Queen Elizabeth's royal cipher (E II R) above the Coat of Arms. The decoration number was stamped at the bottom of the decoration on the rim.

Ribbon

The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide with a 13 millimetres wide dark blue band, one orange and one white band, both 3 millimetres wide, and a 13 millimetres wide dark blue band.

Vice-Admiral Lambert "Woody" Woodburne DVR, SD, SM, wearing both versions of the Southern Cross Medal

Discontinuation[edit]

Conferment of the decoration was discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 1 July 1975 when the Southern Cross Medal (1975) was instituted to replace it.[5] Although a rare occurrence, some officers were awarded both versions, one such example being Vice-Admiral Lambert Jackson Woodburne DVR, SD, SM, former Chief of the Navy.

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 Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
  3. ^ South African Medals Website - Post-nominal Letters
  4. ^ a b c d e f South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975
  5. ^ a b South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003
  6. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1952-1975
  7. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1975-2003
  8. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 457, no. 25213, Pretoria, 25 July 2003
  9. ^ Alexander, E.G.M., Barron, G.K.B. and Bateman, A.J. (1986). South African Orders, Decorations and Medals. Human and Rousseau.