Legion of Merit (Rhodesia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Order of the Legion of Merit
Legioen van Verdienste Rhodesia 1971.jpg
Legion Of Merit (civil division)
Orde van Rhodesia Militaire Divisie 1971.jpg
Legion Of Merit (military division)
Awarded by  Rhodesia  Zimbabwe-Rhodesia
Eligibilitycivilians and military personnel
Awarded foroutstanding service to Rhodesia
Post-nominalsDependent on grade
Established4 November 1970
First awarded1970
Last awardedApril 1981
Next (higher)Conspicuous Gallantry Decoration
Next (lower)Independence Decoration
Legion of Merit - civil (Rhodesia) - ribbon bar.png
Ribbon bar of the civil order
Legion of Merit - military (Rhodesia) - ribbon bar.png
Ribbon bar of the military order

The Legion of Merit was a Rhodesian order of merit awarded to both civilian and military recipients for service to Rhodesia.


The award was instituted in 1970 by Presidential Warrant, the first awards being made the same year. The last awards were made in June 1980. The civil class was suspended from a green and gold ribbon. The military class differed by featuring a red stripe on the green and gold ribbon.


There were five classes of the order:

  • Grand Commander (GCLM)
  • Grand Officer (GLM)
  • Commander (CLM)
  • Officer (OLM)
  • Member (MLM)

The incumbent President of Rhodesia served as Grand Master of the Legion of Merit. Recipients of the order were entitled to the post-nominal letters indicated above. It was retained by the government of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia as well, the President of that state also serving as Grand Master.


The Legion of Merit was superseded in April 1981[1] by the Zimbabwe Order of Merit, which is awarded to civilians as well as military personnel for eminent achievement and services to Zimbabwe.

Notable recipients[edit]

While the higher grades of the order were used almost exclusively by Ian Smith's Rhodesian Front government to reward political service, recipients of the lower and middle grades included a number of notable military leaders, community leaders and civil servants.

Grand Commanders[edit]

There were only 5 GCLMs:

Recipient Office Note(s)
Ian Smith Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Clifford Dupont President of Rhodesia Automatically awarded GCLM on retirement from office.
John Wrathall President of Rhodesia Automatically awarded GCLM on retirement from office.
Gerald Clarke Principal Secretary to the Cabinet of Rhodesia
Josiah Gumede President of Zimbabwe Rhodesia Automatically awarded GCLM on retirement from office.

No GCLMs were ever awarded in the Military Division.

Grand Officers[edit]

There were 28 GLMs (Civil Division):

Recipient Office
Civil Division
S. E. Morris Chief Native Commissioner, Senator
W. H. H. Nicolle Secretary for Internal Affairs
Robert Stumbles Speaker of the House
N. H. B. Bruce Governor of the Reserve Bank of Rhodesia
Jack Howman Minister of Defence, Minister of Information, Minister of Tourism
Leo Cardwell Ross Secretary for Information, Immigration and Tourism
Lance Smith Minister
D. W. Young Secretary to the Treasury;
Desmond Lardner-Burke Minister of Justice, Minister of Law and Order;
Douglas Lilford Founder and Vice President, Rhodesian Front
E. A. T. Smith Secretary for Justice
T. A. T. Bosman Attorney General of Rhodesia
Harold Hawkins Commander of the Rhodesian Air Force, Ambassador to South Africa
Roger Hawkins Minister
B. H. Mussett Minister of Transport
C. N. Whetmore Secretary
J. F. Gaylard Secretary
A. P. Smith Minister
David Smith Minister of Finance
P. K. van der Byl Minister of Defence
P. D. W. R. Sherren Commissioner of Police
N. H. B. Cambitizis Rhodesia Front
George Holland Hartley Speaker of the House
Mark Partridge Minister for Natural Resources
Jack William Pithey Acting President of Rhodesia, President of the Senate, Secretary of Justice
Henry Everard Acting President of Rhodesia
W. M. Irvine Minister of Transport and Power
Ken Flower Head of the Central Intelligence Organisation
Military Division
Lt. Gen. Peter Walls Head of the Rhodesian Security Forces


There were 32 CLMs (Civil Division) and 4 CLMs (Military Division).

Recipient Office Note(s)
Civil Division
Janet Smith - Wife of Prime Minister Ian Smith
Military Division
Col. Ronald Reid-Daly Commanding officer of the Selous Scouts


There were 126 OLMs (Civil Division).

There were 35 OLMs (Military Division) and 10 OLMs (Military Division) (Combatant).

There were 300 MLMs (Civil Division), 55 MLMs (Military Division) and 10 MLMs (Military Division) (Combatant).


  1. ^ Zimbabwe Government Statutory Instrument No. 197A of 1981, 17 April 1981.

External links[edit]