Union of South Africa King's/ Queen's Medal for Bravery, Silver Medal (1939-1952)
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The Union of South Africa King's/Queen's Medal for Bravery was established by King George VI in 1939 and published in the Royal Warrant of June 23, 1939. It was the highest civilian decoration in the Union of South Africa during its lifetime, but it was permanently discontinued when the Republic of South Africa was declared in 1961.
It was awarded to citizens of the Union of South Africa in recognition of acts of life-saving and other acts bravery in the face of extreme danger. In 1952, it was expanded to include foreigners who had performed such acts on South African soil.
This Medal may also be known as the Woltemade Medal, in reference to the figure depicted on the reverse. Wolraad Woltemade was a Dutch farmer who was celebrated for rescuing sailors from the De Jong Thomas shipwreck of 1773.
A total of 34 Silver Medals were awarded during the reign of King George VI, and only 1 was awarded during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II before it was discontinued. There may be additional versions that differ in size.
See also the Woltemade Decoration for Bravery in the Medals & Decorations of South Africa for the decoration that replaced this Medal in the Republic of South Africa.
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