Dekoratie Voor Trouwe Dienst, a philatelic connection. By Garth Kruger

In 2005 I wrote a short article about Albert Kuit, postmaster extraordinaire (The Transvaal Philatelist whole number 155, pages 59-62).

The Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst is a South African military decoration with post-nominal letters D.T.D. It was instituted on 21st December 1920 by King George V, and was awarded to officers who served in the Republican forces during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. The award was instituted to give serving Union Defence Force officers who had fought on the Boer side parity with officers who had served on the Imperial side. The Boer Republics had no official honours system so no Republican medals were awarded during the ABW.

The regulations for the award of the Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst excluded many of the men who fought in the war, but many of these men were eligible for the award of the Medalje Voor De Anglo-Boeroorlog. In addition, the Lint Voor Verwonding was to be awarded to any former Republican soldiers who had been wounded in the ABW, again within the restrictions covering the award of the other decorations.

The medal is a silver disk, diameter 37 mm with a raised rim. The name of the recipient is impressed on the rim.  Interestingly, the medal has no obverse or reverse; on the one side is the coat of arms of the ZAR and on the other the coat of arms of the OFS. Depending on which Republic you fought for, you carried the medal on your chest with your county’s coat of arms facing up. Hence it follows that the ribbon is inverted depending on if you were an officer of the ZAR or the OFS. The last decoration was dispatched on 22nd January 1947.

In total 655 medals are known to have been awarded. All were to officers save one, hence the philatelic connection: Albert Kuit was awarded the medal as a civilian for services rendered as the Inspector of Field Post Offices during the war.

The medal, showing the ZAR and OFS coat of arms respectively. Note the inversion of the ribbon.


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