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Southern Cross Medal (1975)
300px
Awarded by the State President and, from 1994, the President
Country 23x15px  South Africa
Type Military decoration for merit
Eligibility Officers
Awarded for Exceptionally meritorious service and particular devotion to duty
Status Discontinued in 2003
Post-nominals SM
Statistics
Established 1975
First awarded 1976
Precedence
Next (higher)
SADF precedence:[1]
Next (lower)
SADF succession:[1]
SANDF succession:[2]
96px
Ribbon bar

The Southern Cross Medal of 1975, post-nominal letters SM, is a military decoration that was instituted by the Republic of South Africa on 1 July 1975. It was awarded to officers of the South African Defence Force for exceptionally meritorious service and particular devotion to duty.[3][4]

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).[5]

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

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.[5]

Award criteria for the Southern Cross Medal of 1975[]

The Southern Cross Medal of 1975, post-nominal letters SM, was instituted on 1 July 1975 and replaced the Southern Cross Medal of 1952. It was awarded to officers of the South African Defence Force for exceptionally meritorious service and particular devotion to duty. The use of post-nominal letters by all recipients was allowed from 1993.[4][9]

Although not prescribed, the practice was generally that recipients must already have received the Military Merit Medal. The equivalent award for other ranks was the Pro Merito Medal of 1975.

Although a rare occurrence, some officers were awarded both versions of the Southern Cross Medal, one such example being Vice-Admiral Lambert Jackson Woodburne DVR, SD, SM, former Chief of the Navy.

Order of precedence[]

File:Lambert Jackson Woodburne.jpg

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

The position of the Southern Cross Medal of 1975 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 national order of precedence:
South African National Defence Force from 27 April 1994

The position of the Southern Cross Medal of 1975 in the order of precedence remained unchanged, as it was on 27 April 1994, when decorations and medals were belatedly instituted in April 1996 for the two former non-statutory forces, the Azanian People's Liberation Army and Umkhonto we Sizwe, and again when a new series of military orders, decorations and medals was instituted in South Africa on 27 April 2003.[2]

Description[]

Obverse

The Southern Cross Medal of 1975 is struck in silver, to fit in a circle 38 millimetres in diameter, and is 3 millimetres thick at the centre. It depicts the stars of the Southern Cross against a dark blue enameled background on a framed roundel in the centre of a starburst of radiating points.

Reverse

The reverse has the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms with the decoration number stamped underneath.

Ribbon

The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide with a 4½ millimetres wide white band, a 9 millimetres wide dark blue band and a 1 millimetre wide white band, repeated in reverse order and separated by a 3 millimetres wide dark blue band in the centre.

Discontinuation[]

The conferment of the decoration was discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003, when the Southern Cross Medal was replaced by the iPhrothiya yeSiliva decoration.[8]

See also[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 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. 4.0 4.1 4.2 South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975
  6. Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1952-1975
  7. Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1975-2003
  8. 8.0 8.1 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. 

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