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Old 05-09-23, 11:20 AM
Milmed's Avatar
Milmed Milmed is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: South Africa
Posts: 1,674
Default South African Machine Gun Section 'ARDENS' badge

There has been reference to this badge from multiple sources, some suggesting a cap badge, some an arm badge and others a collar badge.
All however do suggest usage was by the South African Horse Machine Gun Section in German East Africa during WWI.

I recently came across a group photograph of officers of the 1st Cape Corps taken c.1917/18
Two of the officers are wearing this badge as collar badges, suggesting that they were indeed collar badges and for officers use.

But why the Cape Corps officers?

In the photograph, the Standing officers is Lieutenant Harold Wallis, MC and the seated officer is not named
In 'The Story of the 1st Cape Corps' by Difford, we find a brief service record of Lt.H Wallis:

WALLIS, HAROLD, Lieutenant, M.C.,
served during Anglo-Boer War with the Worcestershire Yeomanry,1st Division, 1901 to 1902, Queen's medal;
attested as Sergeant in Cullinan's Horse Machine Gun Section Eastern Force, 27th October, 1914, and was in G.S.W.A.;
discharged 18th July, 1915; joined O.T.C. at Potchefstroom towards end of 1915;
gazetted Lieutenant 11th S.A.I., 17th January,1916;
transferred to 8th S.A.I., 5th April, 1917, and promoted Captain, 13th April, 1917;
was Machine Gun Officer in both units; was in G.E.A. with 11th S.A.I., 20th February, 1916, to 21st December, 1916,
and with 8th S.A.I., 19th June, 1917, to 14th December, 1917; taken prisoner of war at Narumgombe, 19th July, 1917;
released by 1st Cape Corps, 18th November, 1917, on the Makonde Plateau;
awarded M.C. for gallantry in action when in Command of a Machine Gun Section at Kondoa Irangi, 9th May, 1916;
Mentioned in Despatches, 8th February, 1917; released from service, 25th February, 1918;
gazetted to 1st Cape Corps with rank of Lieutenant, 30th April,1918;
permitted to retain rank of Captain on demobilisation, 4th October, 1919.

The un-named seated officer appears to be a Lieutenant with some previous service as seen by medal ribbons.
There are three other MG Officers mentioned in Difford, three Lieutenants and a Captain.
Captain Lindsay Campbell was the commanding officer of the Cape Corps Machine Gun Section, but by 1917/18 he had been transferred to the SA Native Labout Corps.
The other three Lieutenant MG Officer's were Lt. F. Burger, a trained machine gunner; Lt.Douglas Frederick Botha (MG officer and transferred to Cape Corps as Lieutenant in May 1917)
and Lt. Basil Howard Moin (MG Officer with 10th SAI and transferred to Cape Corps Machine Gun Section in February 1918)

The most likely of these three, is Lt. Moin based on other pictures seen of him in Difford, and his service record:

MOIN, BASIL. HOWARD, Lieutenant,
joined 12th Royal Lancers, November 21st, 1897, at Aldershot and served with them throughout Anglo-Boer War as Corporal, 1899 to 1902; Queen's medal (five clasps, King's medal (two clasps) ;
served in C.M.P. and S.A.M.R. from September, 1902, to August, 1914 ; took part in "Ferreira Raid" in 1906 on G.S.W.A. border and operations in Damaraland against Marengo in 1907, and also on North-West Border during German "Herero" Campaign;
holds Permanant Overseas Forces Long Service medal;
crossed GSWA Border as Machine Gun Sergeant, 5th S.A.M.R., under General Lukin in September, 1914;
saw service during The Rebellion, and later was with the Desert Column (Kalahari) under Colonel Berrange; returned from G.S.W.A. in November, 1915, and was seconded for Imperial Service ;
served in G.E.A. from 16 January 1916 as Lieutenant and Machine Gun Officer, 10th S A.I.(3rd S.A.I. Brigade);
Mentioned in Despatches for action at "Rast Hans" (Himo River), 19th March, 1916; returned irom G.E.A. in October, 1917;
transferred to 1st Cape Corps with rank of Lieutenant, 21st February, 1918. Total service, twenty-two years.

From these brief service summaries, it appears the Machine Gun Officers had served in the Infantry and Cape Corps and not in the SA Horse, so is it plausable that these collar badges may not have been for SA Horse, but for Infantry Machine Gun Officers?
This may account for there rarity as limited to a few MG officers. The two officers in the photograph are wearing the MGS collar badges with Cape Corps cap badge but with the Infantry they probably wore the regular SA Expeditionary Force cap badge.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cape Corps Machine Gun Officers.jpg (40.5 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg MGOfficer collar badge.jpg (61.1 KB, 38 views)
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Old 19-10-23, 06:49 AM
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Milmed Milmed is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: South Africa
Posts: 1,674

Found a named group photograph of Officers of the Reserve half Battalion of the Cape Corps taken at Kimberley in June 1918.

This confirms that the seated officer was indeed Lt. B.H. Moin
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Old 19-10-23, 09:06 AM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,629

Well done, great detective work!
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