Castle of Good Hope Decoration

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Castle of Good Hope Decoration
Castle of Good Hope Decoration.jpg
Awarded by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms and, from 1961, the State 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
SADF pre-1994 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear
Next (higher)
SADF precedence:
SANDF precedence:
  • Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Victoria Cross
Next (lower)
SADF succession:
SANDF succession:
Ribbon - Castle of Good Hope Decoration.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][7]

Institution[edit]

The Castle of Good Hope Decoration, post-nominal letters CGH, was instituted on 6 April 1952 during the Tercentenary Van Riebeeck Festival.[8]

Award criteria[edit]

The Castle of Good Hope Decoration could be awarded 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. A Bar could be awarded for a further similar deed of bravery. 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][9][10]

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.[9][10]

Order of wear[edit]

With effect from 6 April 1952, when the Castle of Good Hope Decoration and several other new decorations and medals were instituted, these new awards took precedence before all earlier British orders, decorations and medals awarded to South Africans, with the exception of the Victoria Cross which still took precedence before all other awards. The other older British awards continued to be worn in the order prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood.[11][12][13]

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), which was omitted from the official order of precedence table on that date, and thereafter by the Honoris Crux Gold (HCG).[14][13]

South African Defence Force until 3 September 1993

Victoria Cross (VC) Castle of Good Hope Decoration (CGH) Honoris Crux Diamond (HCD)

  • Official national order of precedence:
    • Preceded by the Victoria Cross (VC).[12]
    • Succeeded by the Honoris Crux Diamond (HCD).[14]
South African Defence Force and South African National Defence Force until 26 April 2003

Victoria Cross (VC) Castle of Good Hope Decoration (CGH) Honoris Crux Gold (HCG)

  • Official national order of precedence:
    • Preceded by the Victoria Cross (VC) of the United Kingdom.[12]
    • Succeeded by the Honoris Crux Gold (HCG).[14][13]

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 "CASTEEL 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 - Castle of Good Hope Decoration & Bar.png
Bar

The bar is of gold with a miniature replica of the Castle of Good Hope embossed in the centre.

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][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ South African Medal Website - Post-nominal Letters (Accessed 28 April 2015)
  2. ^ a b c d e South African Medal Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  3. ^ South African Medal Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  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. ^ CometoCapeTown.com Blast from the past – Van Riebeeck festival in 1952
  8. ^ a b Alexander, E.G.M., Barron, G.K.B. and Bateman, A.J. (1986). South African Orders, Decorations and Medals. Human and Rousseau.
  9. ^ a b Monick, S, (1988). South African Military Awards 1912-1987. South African National Museum of Military History.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56878. p. 3352. 17 March 2003. (Access date 14 April 2015)
  11. ^ a b c d e Government Notice no. 1982 of 1 October 1954 - Order of Precedence of Orders, Decorations and Medals, published in the Government Gazette of 1 October 1954.
  12. ^ a b c d Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981. In the document, the printed identification number is 9771682584003.
  13. ^ a b c d e Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
  14. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 26778, Pretoria, 17 September 2004