Van Riebeeck Decoration
|Van Riebeeck Decoration|
Van Riebeeck Decoration and Bar
|Awarded by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms and, from 1961, the State President|
|Type||Military decoration for bravery|
|Awarded for||Distinguished service in the field|
|Status||Discontinued in 1975|
|SADF pre-1994 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear|
The Van Riebeeck Decoration, post-nominal letters DVR, is a South African military decoration for bravery which was instituted by the Union of South Africa in 1952. It was awarded to officers for distinguished service in the field.
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).
The Van Riebeeck Decoration, post-nominal letters DVR, was instituted by Queen Elizabeth II on 6 April 1952, during the Tercentenary Van Riebeeck Festival. The logical post-nominal letters would have been VRD, but since those were already being used for the Decoration for Officers of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, which had also been awarded to South Africans, the letters DVR were chosen instead.
The Van Riebeeck Decoration was awarded to officers for distinguished service against an enemy in the field. Only two decorations were ever awarded, both in 1972. A silver-gilt bar was authorised to denote a second award, but was never awarded.
Order of wear
With effect from 6 April 1952, when the Van Riebeeck Decoration and several other new decorations and medals were instituted, these new awards took precedence before all earlier British orders, decorations and medals awarded to South Africans, with the exception of the Victoria Cross, which still took precedence before all other awards. The other older British awards continued to be worn in the order prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood.
The position of the Van Riebeeck Decoration 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 on 27 April 1994, and again with the institution of a new set of awards on 27 April 2003.
- South African Defence Force until 26 April 1994
- Official SADF order of precedence:
- Official national order of precedence:
- Preceded by the Honoris Crux Silver (HCS).
- Succeeded by the South African Police Cross for Bravery, Silver (PCFS).
- South African National Defence Force from 27 April 1994
- Official SANDF order of precedence:
- Official national order of precedence:
- Preceded by the Honoris Crux Silver (HCS) of the Republic of South Africa.
- Succeeded by the South African Police Silver Cross for Gallantry (SCG) of the Republic of South Africa.
The position of the Van Riebeeck Decoration in the order of precedence remained unchanged, as it was on 27 April 1994, when decorations and medals were belatedly instituted in April 1996 for the two former non-statutory forces, the Azanian People's Liberation Army and Umkhonto we Sizwe, and again when a new series of military orders, decorations and medals was instituted in South Africa on 27 April 2003. However, the two Police decorations which succeed the Van Riebeeck Decoration, the South African Police Silver Cross for Gallantry (SCG) and the South African Police Cross for Bravery, Silver (PCFS), exchanged seniority in the official order of precedence, as published in 1994 and 2003 respectively.
The Van Riebeeck Decoration was struck in silver-gilt and is in the shape of the five-pointed outline of the Castle of Good Hope, to fit in a 38 millimetres diameter circle. The suspension consists of a cluster of eight protea leaves. The statue of Jan van Riebeeck, which stands in the Heerengracht in Cape Town, is depicted in relief against a background of three rings, representing Van Riebeeck's three ships, with the outer ring inscribed "UITNEMENDE DIENS" at left and "DISTINGUISHED SERVICE" at right.
The reverse has the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms. Specimens struck before 31 May 1961 had Queen Elizabeth II's royal cipher (E II R) above the coat of arms, but this was removed by the time the decoration was first awarded.
The Bar displays a field cannon in its centre. When ribbons alone are worn, a separate button displaying a field cannon would have been worn on the ribbon bar. The Bar was never awarded.
The Van Riebeeck Decoration was discontinued in July 1975, when the military decorations and medals of the Republic were revised and some of the 1952 series of decorations and medals were replaced with new decorations and medals.
|DVR no.||Name||Rank||Service||Unit||Date||Action cited for|
|1||Breytenbach, Jan||Cmdt||SA Army||1 RR||2 Aug 1974||Special Forces operation in Tanzania|
|2||Woodburne, Lambert Jackson||Lt Cdr||SA Navy||SAS EH||2 Aug 1974||Special Forces operation in Tanzania|
- South African Medal Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
- South African Medal Website - Post-nominal Letters (Accessed 28 April 2015)
- South African Medal Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
- Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1952-1975
- Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1975-2003
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 457, no. 25213, Pretoria, 25 July 2003
- CometoCapeTown.com Blast from the past – Van Riebeeck festival in 1952
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
- The London Gazette: . 17 March 2003. (Access date 14 April 2015)
- Government Notice no. 1982 of 1 October 1954 - Order of Precedence of Orders, Decorations and Medals, published in the Government Gazette of 1 October 1954.
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
- Monick, S, (1988). South African Military Awards 1912-1987. South African National Museum of Military History.
- Uys, Ian (1992). Cross of Honour. Germiston: Uys. pp. 10–11. ISBN 0958317321.