Honoris Crux Silver

This article is about the Honoris Crux Silver. For other uses, see Honoris Crux.
Honoris Crux Silver
Awarded by the State President and, from 1994, the President
Country South Africa  South Africa
Type Military decoration for bravery
Eligibility All Ranks
Awarded for Exceptional bravery in great danger
Campaign 1966-1989 Border War
Status Discontinued in 2003
Post-nominals HCS
Established 1975
First awarded 1976
Last awarded 1992
Total awarded 27
SADF pre-1994 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear
Next (higher)
SADF precedence:
SANDF precedence:
Next (lower)
SADF succession:
SANDF succession:

Ribbon bar

The Honoris Crux Silver (Silver Cross of Honour), post-nominal letters HCS, is a military decoration for bravery which was instituted by the Republic of South Africa on 1 July 1975. It was awarded to members of the South African Defence Force for exceptional acts of bravery while in great danger. The Honoris Crux Silver was the third most senior in a set of four classes of Honoris Crux decorations, which together replaced the discontinued Honoris Crux of 1952.[1]

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).[2][3][4]


The Honoris Crux Silver (Silver Cross of Honour), post-nominal letters HCS, was instituted by the State President on 1 July 1975.[3][4]

Award criteria

The decoration was awarded to members of the South African Defence Force for exceptional acts of bravery in action, while in great danger. A Bar could be awarded for a further similar deed of bravery. It was the third most senior of a set of four classes of Honoris Crux decorations, the Honoris Crux Diamond, Honoris Crux Gold, Honoris Crux Silver and Honoris Crux, which replaced the discontinued Honoris Crux of 1952.[3]

Order of wear

The position of the Honoris Crux Silver 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 in 1994 and again with the institution of a new set of awards in 2003, but it remained unchanged on both occasions.[5][6]

Official SANDF order of precedence
Official national order of precedence



The Honoris Crux Silver is a silver Maltese cross which fits in a circle 45 millimetres in diameter, with two swords in saltire surmounted by a circular protea wreath, the arms of the cross in green enamel, with a roundel in the centre, tierced horizontally in the orange, white and blue bands of the national flag, framed in a double silver circle containing 24 stones.[7] It is identical to the Honoris Crux of 1975 in all respects, except the colour of the enamel on the arms of the cross.


The reverse has the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms, with the decoration number impressed above and the silver hallmark below.[7]


The bar is of silver, with a miniature replica of the Maltese cross embossed in the centre.


The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide and orange, with two 1 millimetre wide white bands in the centre, spaced 4 millimetres apart.[7]


Conferment of the decoration was discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003, when the Honoris Crux Silver was replaced by the new Nkwe ya Selefera (NS).[3]


In respect of those recipients about whom it is available, the actions they were cited for follow below the table.

Name Rank HCS no. Date of action Unit Service
Swanepoel, Pieter Arnoldus Cpl 001 [8] 11 Nov 1975 2 SAI BN SA Army
Van Niekerk, Hermanus 2 Lt 002 [8] 23 Nov 1975 14 Fd Rgt SA Army
Wannenburg, Frederick Gerhardus   2 Lt 003 [8] 7 Dec 1975 1 Recce Rgt SA Army
Piccione, Kevin Bruce Tpr 004 [8] 26 Dec 1975 1 SSB SA Army
Rawlins, Vincent R. Cpl 005 [8] 3 Jan 1976 3 SAI BN SA Army
Ward, William James Harold S Sgt 006 [8] 10 Mar 1976 2 Recce Rgt SA Army
Childs, Perry James Lt 007 [8] 27 Mar 1976 17 Sqn SAAF
Meerholz, Cornelius Alwyn Johannes Capt 008 [8] 28 Oct 1977 1 Recce Rgt SA Army
Hogan, Leo Anthony Rfn 009 [8] 9 Nov 1977 3 Para Bn SA Army
Costa, Feliciano [lower-alpha 1] Rfn 010 [8] 22 Apr 1979 32 Bn SA Army
Breytenbach, Cornelius Noël Cmdt 011 [8] 1 Sep 1979 19 Sqn SAAF
Stannard, Richard John [lower-alpha 2] Lt 012 [8] 28 Jan 1981 1 Recce Rgt SA Army
Lewer, Richard Campbell McNeillie [lower-alpha 3] Maj 013 [8] 23 Aug 1981 8 Sqn SAAF
Botes, Christo Wilhelm [lower-alpha 4] Sgt 014 [8] 29 Dec 1981 AFB Ondangwa SAAF
Barnes, Leslie Edward [lower-alpha 5] Sgt 015 [8] 20 May 1983 MRU SAAF
Bantjes, Alexander Petrus Cpl 016 [8] 19 Mar 1984 MRU SAAF
Hashomwenda, Dawie Rfn 017 [8] 6 Feb 1985 101 Bn SA Army
Van Zyl, Hendrik Gideon Lt 018 [8] 11 Feb 1985 Spec Serv HQ SAMS
Diedericks, André HC Maj 019 [8][11] 1 Jun 1985 Spec Forces HQ SA Army
Steyn, Jacobus Frederik Maj 020 [8] 1 Jan 1987 NC Command SA Army
Roux, Anton Louis L Cpl 021 [8] 28 Feb 1987 10 Med Gp SAMS
Venter, Johannes Antonie L Cpl 022 [8] 6 Sep 1987 44 Bde Mil Int SA Army
De Gouveia, J.H. (Johnny) Sgt 023 [8] 20 Sep 1987 1 Recce Rgt SA Army
Badenhorst, Johannes Jacobus Spr 024 [8] 23 Apr 1988 13 Fd Eng Regt SA Army
Slade, Alan Mark Capt 025 [8] 1 Apr 1989 22 Sqn SAAF
Frederikson, Theodore Kurt Sgt 026 [8] 1 Apr 1989 31 Sqn SAAF
Scoular, Gary Ian [lower-alpha 6] LS 027 [8] 4 Aug 1991 SAS Scorpion SAN

Note 1:   denotes a posthumous award.

Actions cited for

  1. Costa, Feliciano: Awarded for action with enemy insurgents 16 km north of the Angolan border, during a succession of interlinked firefights, where Rifleman Costa repeatedly attacked and killed enemy insurgents using grenades after his RPD had been damaged by enemy fire. He was the first member of the SADF to be presented with the HCS at a medal parade in the operational area.[9]
  2. Stannard, Richard John: During a special forces operation conducted at night in an urban area, a hand grenade exploded, seriously wounding a four-man team. Stannard and his two team members came to the assistance of the four wounded operators from the first team. The explosion had caused a fire which then ignited further grenades, carried in the webbing of the injured. Stannard and his team remained with the wounded and returned enemy fire, allowing the wounded to be extracted and ensuring the eventual success of the mission. Stannard was awarded the HCS, while the two members of his team, Staff Sergeant A.L. Johnston and Corpporal M.A. Smith, who assisted in the rescue, were awarded the HC.[8]:77
  3. Lewer, Richard Campbell McNeillie (Dick): Awarded for close air support to an ambushed 31 Battalion company, close to Xangongo, which was deployed as a stopper group for the opening of Operation Protea. Major Lewer repeatedly attacked a large force of SWAPO/FAPLA elements who had pinned down the SADF company. Operating alone and at night in his single-seat Impala Mk II, his continued attacks allowed the company to withdraw to safety.[10]:21–22
  4. Botes, Christo Wilhelm: Sergeant Botes was the flight engineer on the second helicopter mission for which Capt Arthur Walker HCG and Bar SM was decorated. He was awarded the HCS for his life-threatening actions when they landed their helicopter whilst under intense enemy fire, to rescue the crew of a downed Alouette III helicopter, Lieutenant Serge Bovy and Sergeant Dolf van Rensburg.[10]:21–22
  5. Barnes, Leslie Edward: Awarded for his actions after a bomb explosion at SAAF Headquarters, Pretoria. Sergeant Barnes was in a parked vehicle behind the vehicle which contained the bomb and was severely burned in the explosion. Despite his injuries, Barnes rescued an unconscious colleague from the vehicle he was in and carried her to safety. He then returned to the burning vehicle and rescued a second colleague from the vehicle. Immediately after rescuing the second SAAF officer, the vehicle in which they had been trapped, exploded as its fuel tank ignited.[8]
  6. Scoular, Gary Ian: Awarded for his action to search for possibly trapped passengers in the listing and sinking ship MTS Oceanos off the Transkei Wild Coast on 4 August 1991.[12]


  1. South African Medal Website - Post-nominal Letters (Accessed 28 April 2015)
  2. South African Medal Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  3. 1 2 3 4 South African Medal Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  4. 1 2 Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 457, no. 25213, Pretoria, 25 July 2003
  5. 1 2 3 Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
  6. 1 2 3 Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
  7. 1 2 3 Monick, S (1988). South African Military Awards 1912-1987. South African National Museum of Military History. p. 49.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Uys, Ian (1992). Cross of Honour. Uys Publishers. p. 183. ISBN 0-9583173-2-1.
  9. "Honoris Crux". Rifleman Feliciano Costa.
  10. 1 2 Bagshawe, Peter (1990). Warriors of the Sky. Johannesburg: Ashanti. ISBN 978-1-874800-11-8
  11. Diedericks, André (2007). Journey Without Boundaries (2nd ed.). Durban, South Africa: Just Done Productions Publishing (published 23 June 2007). ISBN 978-1-920169-58-9. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  12. "Dié helde word met medaljes vereer". Die Burger. 31 August 1991.
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