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  #1  
Old 22-06-12, 12:22 PM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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Default Unusual WW1 South African Military Nursing Service Badge

Obverse Nurse Badge.jpg

Reverse Nurse Badge.jpg

This is a very unusual and I am not sure if it is a variation of the voided version which I have in both silver and brass.
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  #2  
Old 22-06-12, 12:36 PM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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Mueseum 21June 2012 A30.JPG

Mueseum 21June 2012 A31.JPG

The badge is larger than the version that was worn on the nurse's cape.

Any ideas/opinions would be welcome.
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  #3  
Old 22-06-12, 07:11 PM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
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Hi william
Perhaps a commemorative medallion?
Cheers,
Alex
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  #4  
Old 23-06-12, 03:38 PM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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Hi Alex,

That is possible, I have never seen a reference too or one of these before.

Regards,

Will
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  #5  
Old 23-06-12, 04:03 PM
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Milmed Milmed is offline
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Default SAMNS WWI cape badge

Hi William,
Thanks for starting this thread on the SAMNS WWI badges. I have been meaning to do a thread on these as this is my primary collecting field, but just have not got round to it. Secondary interests would be SAMC/SAMS and then commonwealth medical, dental and nursing insignia.

I have not seen the badge you are quering before. I have thus far been sceptical as to the validity of brass SAMNS badges. My feelings is that all the WWI SAMNS badges should be silver. Even the second world war badges were silver up until c. 1944 when the SAMNS were issued with white metal cap and collar badges. The WWII cap badges had a brooch pin and the collars were lugged with the springboks facing each other. These were worn until 1953 when they were replaced with gilt cap and collars of the same design. The SAMNS was a voluntary service but became a permanant force unit of the UDF in October 1950. From documents I have seen the Gilt badges were first recorded by the quartermaster stores in 1953.

But back to the WWI badges. I am aware of 5 variations of the silver badge and two variations of brass badges. The brass ones appear to be castings of original silver badges. The 5 variations I have classified as follows based on the symbol seen between the words 'SOUTH' and 'SERVICE' at the bottom of the badge(see attached pictures):
Type 1. Silver hallmarked London 1915 with a 'pattee cross' symbol
Type 2. Silver not marked with a 'Fleur-de-lys' symbol
Type 3. Silver not marked with a 'East African cross' symbol
Type 4. Silver hallmarked London 1918 with a 'plus' symbol
Type 5. Silver stamped "SILVER" with a 'square box' symbol. This badge is larger than the others and more crudely made with letters typical of old woodblock engravings.

The brass versions I have seen are copies of types 3 and 4. These brass versions I have seen with brooch fittings as well as crudely soldered copper lugs with no indication of a brooch ever having been fitted. I have made an unfounded assumption that these brass badges may have been copies produced for the collectors market, but I stand to be corrected. It is very possible that they may have been produced in East Africa as most of them seen are of the type with the East African cross.

I have documented reference (that I cannot place at present) that the SAMNS were issued with two bronze springbok badges prior to departure for UK in September 1915. These I believe were standard officers "Union is Strength - Eendracht Macht Maagt" badges. These original contingent nurses were issued with Type 1 badges prior to leaving the UK for France. It has been said that these badges were all named to the specific nurse, but I have not seen evidence of this yet. I believe the Type 2 (Fleur-de-lys) badges were issued in France and Type 3 were issued in East Africa. Type 4 may have been a privately purchased replacement badge as it has a 1918 hallmark and made by silversmith Murrle Bennet & Company. Lastly Type 5 may have been manufactured locally and possibly post WWI era.

From photographic evidence nurses in the GSWA campaign and the original contingent can be seen without any badges prior to departure for UK. Photographs taken in UK, France and in the Union post 1916 all show nurses with the silver (or possibly brass) cape badge.

As for your badge it may possibly be an unknown incompleted variation or anouther copy that was not completed or even a commemorative medallion.

Regards
Steven
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SAMNS London 1915.jpg (34.0 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg SAMNS silver fleur-di-lys.jpg (37.0 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg SAMNS silver East Africa.JPG (45.2 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg samns silver WWI brooches.jpg (72.2 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg SAMNS brass 1.JPG (28.0 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg SAMNS brass 3.jpg (34.0 KB, 9 views)
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  #6  
Old 24-06-12, 02:36 AM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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Hi Steven,

Thank you for the excellent and detailed response.

I often find that the descriptions provided on badges are often very basic and provide very little detail.

This is one of the main reasons why many questions are asked about the details of badges over the passage of time.

It was also a common practice for nurse's to have their names engraved on the reverse of their badges, I have one in my collection.

The brass badges that I have are of the same quality as the other similar "goat in the port-hole" types so I believe that they were legitimate issue.

I do have a number of postcard photographs of South African medical personnel in both Richmond and France during WW1 which may assist you in your research.

Regards,

Will
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  #7  
Old 24-06-12, 06:23 AM
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Milmed Milmed is offline
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Hi Will,

Thanks for your reply. PM sent re. nurse pictures.

Regards
Steven
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  #8  
Old 24-06-12, 07:08 AM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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Thanks Steven,

I have responded.

Most of the photographs of the SAMC in France depict them wearing the "Goat-in-the Porthole" South African general service badge.

Regards,

Will
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  #9  
Old 24-06-12, 10:40 AM
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Hi Will,
Received your PM. Yes I am aware that the SAMC wore the "Goat-in-the Porthole" as most SA Expeditionary force members did.
From my research I believe they got these in 1915 prior to departure for UK. The SAMC NCO's and pvt's also had brass cutout s/t and red cross arm badges. Sometime in 1916 they received collar badges with the double scroll. Note these collar badges were smaller than the known cap badge.
Officers had cap and collar badges with single scroll "South African Medical Corps" since 1914/15 but these were all private purchase items. Officers also wore the double scroll badge from pictures i have seen, but in Europe all the SAMC officers wore the "Goat-in-the Porthole" as well.

Regards
Steven
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  #10  
Old 25-06-12, 07:36 PM
Madziro Madziro is offline
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Greetings learned gents.

Can anybody shed any light on this version of the SAMNS please. Regards. Dudley
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SA Mil Nursing Service silver.jpg (64.6 KB, 13 views)
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  #11  
Old 26-06-12, 09:49 AM
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Milmed Milmed is offline
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Hi Dudley,
I can shed all the light on this badge. It has been wrongly identified as a cap badge in Owens book and since then everyone refers to it as such, some even to it been WWI .

This is the SAMNS training school badge and worn by SAMNS nurses who qualified after 3 years nurse training. It is on the same lines as all civilian nurse/hospital qualification badges and was worn as a brooch at the closure of the collar in ward uniform (ie. ward whites).

In 1952 a pre-nursing course was instituted at various nursing colleges to attract new nurses to the profession and provide non-matriculants with matriculation certificates. The SAMNS made good use of this scheme, training 88 of their staff at a Pretoria Nursing Colledge by the time the course was discontinued in 1955. By 1954 a training school badge for SAMNS was approved and registered under the Names, Uniforms and Badges Act No23 of 1935. The badge design was that of the SAMNS cap badge with bilingual title, one and a half inches in diameter, and produced in sterling silver bearing the hallmarks of the South African Mint.

From the above we could say that at least 88 of these were issued, but I assume many more may have been manufatured and come onto the market from a store clearout (either SAMS store or manufacturers store) as these appear fairly often and all with the same 1950's SA MINT markings and all in mint unissued condition.

Attached is a picture of two nurses at 2 military hospital in the 1950's wearing the brooch at the close of the collar.
The left nurse(with veil) is a Grade II sister, she has ruby coloured shoulder boards with two rings of gilt gimp braid and the universal SA badge worn midway between the gimp and button as per regulation.
The right hand nurse is a nursing assistant wearing khaki shoulder board with one inch white melton cloth and SA badge. The SA badges were worn on the shoulder boards only in ward dress. These badges were also worn on the lower collar below the SAMNS collar badges in service dress (step out) uniform.

I hope this clears up the misidentification once and for all

Regards
Steven
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SAMNS 1950s.jpg (32.8 KB, 24 views)
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  #12  
Old 26-06-12, 11:08 AM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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Hi Steven,

Thank you for providing the excellent input into this.

I also believed that the badge dated back to World War 1, given the available references and discussions.

This shows the advantage of collectors "specialising" in various fields and who are generous enough and who are prepared to share their knowledge and insight with their fellow collectors.

Regards,

Will
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  #13  
Old 26-06-12, 12:18 PM
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Milmed Milmed is offline
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Hi Will,
Very happy to share info where I can... no use in keeping it all to myself. Though I enjoy the collecting (aquiring my first badge at age 5 from an uncle returning from Angola in the mid 70's), I do prefer digging and finding the facts about the insignia. Have had many heated discussions with people in the know to finally disprove their theories when a period document or picture becomes available. Of course this works both ways, so I am always ready to be corrected when I theorise on an item.

To add to the nursing college discussion, In 1985 a nursing college was started within SA Medical Services at Voortrekkerhoogte in Pretoria with an affiliation to UNISA. A satellite college started at same time at Wynberg Military Hospital. On 1st January 1988 the college received unit status. A picture of the unit flash is attached. A college lapel badge was designed by SA Heraldic Buro and issued in 1991 (see second picture, though not very clear). The wording on top of shield reads "SAGD VERPLEEGKOLLEGE" and the motto below reads "SCIENTIA PRAESTEMUS" - with knowlege we can.

Just as a bit of interest, the SAMNS (South African Military Nursing Service) which was formed in 1914, ceased to exist as a unit in 1972. They were renamed South African Military Nursing Corps (SAMNC) affective 01 December 1970 and then on 11 December 1972, the SAMNC was disbanded and all staff incorporated into the South African Medical Services(SAMS).

The SAMS was redesignated as such from the SAMC(South African Medical Corps) also with affect 01 December 1970. In 1979 the SAMS became an autonomous unit of the SADF.

Regards
Steven
Attached Images
File Type: jpg b6f8_1.JPG (16.9 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg FIL4635.JPG (9.3 KB, 6 views)
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  #14  
Old 26-06-12, 03:17 PM
Madziro Madziro is offline
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Hullo Stephen

Many thanks for this detailed info. It is much appreciated and I am grateful as you have cleared up quite a bit of confusion for me. The medics are an interesting crowd!!

My late grandfather served as a medic with the OFS Ambulance Corps during the 2nd ABW with Frankfort / Vrede Commando and was at the Siege of Ladysmith and elsewhere in Natal. I have his documentation of the time.

Regards

Dudley
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  #15  
Old 26-06-12, 04:30 PM
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Hi Dudley,
Thanks for sharing info on your grandfather. I would be very interested in reading the documentation you have if you ever want to share it. Are there any photographs amounst the lot?

I have copies of your books and it makes for interesting reading on subjects I have no knowledge of.

Maybe you could clear up something that has ben plaguing me for a while. On pg71 of you book on SA insignia (Medical badges) you show a shoulder flash/title of '1 FD AMB'. According to my research these titles followed the abbreviated unit designations and these units back in the 1960's were either an English, Afrikaans or bilingual unit, so accordingly the titles were either produced in English, Afrikaans or bilingual to match the official designation.

From a list of medical units I have One Field Ambulance was a CF unit and an Afrikaans designated unit, so their titles would have been '1 VD AMB'. The only bilingual field ambulance was '11 Field Ambulance' - a PF unit. They wore titles '11 FD AMB' and '11 VD AMB', one on each shoulder. Could your displayed title possibly be an 11 Field Ambulance title that has had one of the '1' removed? If you still have this title, would you be able to check whether a '1' has been removed or not.

The list of Medical Corps units in early 1960's through to formation of SAMS in 1970/71 as follows:

SAMC Unit identification insignia - PF
1 Military Hospital (Pretoria)
2 Military Hospital (Wynberg)
Central Medical and Veternirary Stores / Sentrale Artsenymagasyn
Institute for Aviation Medicine / Instituut vir Lugvaartgeneeskunde
11 Field Ambulance / 11 Veld Ambulaans
SAMC Training Centre / SAGD Opleidingssentrum

Western Province Command Medical Detachment
Eastern Province Command Medical Detachment
Natal Command Medical Detachment
Orange Free State Command Medical Detachment
Western Transvaal Command Medical Detachment
Northern Transvaal Command Medical Detachment
Wiwatersrand Command Medical Detachment
South West Africa Command Medical Detachment
South Western District Command Medical Detachment

SAMC Unit identification insignia - CF
1 Veld Ambulaans
3 Field Ambulance
4 Field Ambulance
5 Veld Ambulaans
9 Veld Ambulaans
10 Veld Ambulaans
12 Field Ambulance (Port Elizabeth)
13 Veld Ambulaans (Vereniging)
15 Field Hygiene Company (Pretoria)
15 Veldgesondheids Komapanje (Pretoria)
16 Field Hygiene Company
16 Veldgesondheids Komapanje
17 Field Dressing Station (Roodepoort)
17 Veldverpleegplek (Roodepoort)
19 Field Dressing Station
19 Veldverpleegplek
21 Field Dressing Station
21 Veldverpleegplek
23 Field Dressing Station
23 Veldverpleegplek

23 Dental Company

25 Advanced Medical Stores Depot
25 Voorartensnydepot
28 Convalescent Depot

31 Casualty Clearing Station (Klerksdorp)
31 Afvoerhospitaal (Klerksdorp)
33 Casualty Clearing Station
33 Afvoerhospitaal
34 Casualty Clearing Station
34 Afvoerhospitaal

41 Field Transfusion Team
42 Field Transfusion Team
43 Field Transfusion Team
44 Field Transfusion Team

51 Field Surgical Team
52 Field Surgical Team
53 Field Surgical Team
54 Field Surgical Team
55 Field Surgical Team
56 Field Surgical Team
57 Field Surgical Team
58 Field Surgical Team

71 Medical Stores Sub-Depot
72 Medical Stores Sub-Depot
73 Medical Stores Sub-Depot
74 Medical Stores Sub-Depot
75 Medical Stores Sub-Depot

4 Military Hospital
5 Military Hospital
6 Military Hospital
7 Field Military Hospital
8 Field Military Hospital
9 Field Military Hospital

Note the arc s/t in its designated unit language was only around during the days of Medical Corps. Some of these units were formed in 1913/14 with formation of SAMC while others were only formed mid 1960's.

When the SA medical services where formed in 1970/71 some of these units where disbanded and others renamed. Unit designations where no longer language specific in the 1970's and the titles were replaced with flashes, initially silk embroidered on felt and then the lucite covered brass flashes. Below is a list of medical units during SAMS period of 1970/71 through 1981 when the Field ambulances were amalgamated into Medical Battalions. I have just listed the english designations. I am trying to find formation, disbandment and amalgation dates for all these units... an ardeas task.

SAMS Unit identification insignia - PF
Surgeon General HQ
SAMS Training Centre
Central Medical Stores
Sentrale Artsenymagasyn
Military Medical Institute (was previously Institute for Aviation Medicine)
1 Military Hospital Voortrekkerhoogte Pretoria
2 Military Hospital - Wynberg Cape Town
3 Military Hospital - Tempe Bloemfontein
Western Province Command Medical Detachment
Eastern Province Command Medical Detachment
Natal Command Medical Detachment
Orange Free State Command Medical Detachment
North Western Command Medical Detachment
Northern Transvaal Command Medical Detachment
Wiwatersrand Command Medical Detachment
South West Africa Command Medical Detachment
Southern Cape Command Medical Detachment


SAMS Unit Designation - CF
1 Field Ambulance - Transvaal
3 Field Ambulance - Western Cape
4 Field Ambulance - Free State
5 Field Ambulance
9 Field Ambulance
10 Field Ambulance
12 Field Ambulance - Port Elizabeth
13 Field Ambulance - Vereniging
14 Field Ambulance
15 Field Ambulance (was 4 MH)
16 Field Ambulance (was 5 MH)
17 Field Ambulance - Natal (was 21 FDS)
18 Field Ambulance (was 19 FDS)
19 Field Ambulance (was 17 FDS)
20 Field Ambulance - Cape Town (was 23 FDS)
81 Field Ambulance

6 Field Hospital (was 9 FMH)
7 Field Hospital (was 7 FMH)
8 Field Hospital (was 8 FMH)

31 Mobile Hospital (was 31 CCS)
33 Mobile Hospital (was 33 CCS)
34 Mobile Hospital (was 34 CCS)

25 Field Hygiene Company - Pretoria (was 15 FHC)

Medical Evacuation Unit (was 6 MH)
Mediese Afvoer Eenheid (was 6 MH)

Note: The lucite flashes that come on to the market are not all Field ambulances as collectors have assumed over the years. From the official list above there were only 16 FA's in 1971.

If you have anything to add or any official documentation to share, please keep me in mind.

Just one more thing re. your SA book. The TMSC badge appears to be an officers silver and enamel badge. Very nice and one I have been very keen to add to my collection. Would you be able to send me a more detailed picture of this badge (both obverse and reserve please)

Regards
Steven

Last edited by Milmed; 27-06-12 at 10:24 AM. Reason: rearange list of units
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