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  #1  
Old 03-09-15, 11:15 AM
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Default South African Civil Protective Service?

Hello all,

I have more questions, if I could pick your brains again, please?

I have acquired the two badges below, I understand that both are cap badges for the same organisation, the South African Civil Protective Service, firstly, is that correct?

Secondly, from another thread, I have seen that they are similar to the UK's Home Guard. From an outside source, I have been led to believe that they were under the administration/authority of the South African Police, is this correct?

I am guessing that the crowned is pre independence pattern and the circle post?

Thanks very much for your help,

Phil

Edit: what does KBND ESPC stand for / translate to, please?



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Old 03-09-15, 12:34 PM
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Hi Phil

The badge on the left is indeed Civilian Protective Services, but the badge on the right is the Essential Services Protection Corps (Korps vir die Beskerming van Noodsaaklike Dienste). They were entirely separate organisations.

The CPS was not so much a home guard as a civil defence organisation. It was responsible for blackouts, air-raid precautions, anti-gas precautions, bomb clearance and suchlike. It was controlled by municipalities, co-ordinated by the Dept of the Interior, and later by the Dept of Justice.

The Civilian Guard was a branch within the CPS. Members were enrolled as special constables in the SA Police and wore uniforms, hence the badge.

The ESPC was an auxiliary service under the auspices of the Secretary for Defence. Its job was to guard bridges, dams etc -- what would now be called "key points" -- against sabotage.
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Old 03-09-15, 12:38 PM
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Many thanks Arthur, I will adjust my descriptions accordingly.

Phil
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Old 04-09-15, 05:43 AM
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And to add to the confusion there were also the following: the Reserve Brigade, National Reserve Volunteers and the National Volunteer Brigade which to some extent could also be said to be Home Guard equivalents though their specific duties varied.
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Old 04-09-15, 08:57 AM
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Gents,

An interesting thread. I've had a "set" of these badges for several years and have never been quite sure who or what the "CPS" were. So, thanks for the information supplied so far. Whilst we have discussed the "CPS" badge (I assume that the smaller pair are collars and that the KC small badge bearing the letters "CPS" is a mufti badge (horse shoe fitting to reverse and numbers 13 and 468). You will see that I have a further set entitled "Civic Guard" Are these an earlier version of the Civilian Guard badges, if so what era?

These badges came to me in a batch of prison service insignia, so my supplier was obviously also confused. Amazingly, there appears to be nothing on the web about them or their activities.

Dave.
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Old 04-09-15, 09:23 AM
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You're quite correct. The badge with the letters CPS only was a lapel badge worn on mufti. Apparently there was an Afrikaans equivalent with the letters BBD.

I don't know where the Civic Guard fits in.

As I have it, the structure and insignia were as follows :

Civilian Protective Services
- volunteers (estimated 80 000 in total, in 136 centres)
- wore civilian clothes, with 'CPS' or 'BBD' lapel badge.

Civilian Guard
- uniformed component within the CPS (estimated 10 362 members)
- enrolled as special constables in the SA Police
- wore khaki uniforms with
-- 'CPS Civilian Guard' cap and collar badges
-- blue cap bands and epaulettes
-- blue armbands with the letters 'CPS - CG' in white.
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Old 04-09-15, 09:40 AM
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Arthur,

Thank you for your prompt response. Perhaps another of our members can enlighten us with regard to the "Civic Guard - Burger Wagte" badges. The South African Government of the day certainly knew how to cause confusion amongst badge collectors!

Dave.
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Old 07-09-15, 02:31 PM
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Here is a pic of the Civilian Guard marching through Durban. Also a cloth cuff title and an epaulette.
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File Type: jpg CG2.JPG (97.8 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg CG3.JPG (98.0 KB, 24 views)
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  #9  
Old 07-09-15, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natal01 View Post
Here is a pic of the Civilian Guard marching through Durban. Also a cloth cuff title and an epaulette.
Thank you very much. Can you solve the mystery of the circular badges (cap and collars) which are shown in the top part of my photo?

Dave.
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  #10  
Old 08-09-15, 09:39 AM
milhistry milhistry is offline
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I wonder whether the round type was an aerlier badge, perhaps before they fell under the CPS. Apparently there were also Civil Guards during the 1922 strike though these badges have Afrikaans on them which rules that out. During the 1950s there were also Civic Guards that policed the towbships but I don't know if they wore uniform or not.
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Old 08-09-15, 11:33 AM
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I'm wondering if the Civilian Guard might have been renamed 'Civic Guard' during the course of the war. The name seems to crop up in 1943, '44 and '45. As the badge depicts the figure of Justice, perhaps the change was made after the CPS was transferred to the Dept of Justice in 1943. This is pure conjecture, of course.
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Old 09-09-15, 06:34 AM
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That's a distinct possibility. I can confirm from a photograph dated September 1942 that the CPS in circlet with crown above type was being worn on the occasion of Constable Snell of the CPS CG receiving his King's Medal for Bravery for attempting to rescue the crew of a burning aircraft.
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Old 09-09-15, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milhistry View Post
That's a distinct possibility. I can confirm from a photograph dated September 1942 that the CPS in circlet with crown above type was being worn on the occasion of Constable Snell of the CPS CG receiving his King's Medal for Bravery for attempting to rescue the crew of a burning aircraft.
If none of our South African members have seen these badges previously I assume that they must be extremely scarce?

Dave.
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  #14  
Old 09-09-15, 08:41 AM
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I've seen them for sale quite a few times. I would not describe them as common but probably wouldn't go so far as to say they are very rare either. I haven't seen them in a period photograph yet to be able to place them accurately and suspect it may have been a late war issue to a formation that may have ceased to exist soon after. This is just speculation though and will keep digging... Information on the SA Home Defence units is very sparse. Unlike the traditional regiments, most of which continued to exist postwar , most of the war-raised units and formations were disbanded at the end of the war, quite a few even before that. With the new government in 1948 rather keen to forget South Africa's war contribution altogether their histories were sadly not considered important.
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  #15  
Old 12-09-15, 05:10 AM
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Constable H Snell of the Claremont CPS receiving the King's Medal for Bravery from Mr Harry Lawrence, Minister of the Interior, 26 Sept 1942
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