The Union of South Africa Commemoration Medal was instituted in 1910 to mark the opening of the first Union Parliament by the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn in 1910.  As such, it was the first of the independence medals instituted in the Commonwealth.

The medal was instituted by King George V in terms of Royal Warrant of 3 October 1910, published in Government Gazette no. 59 dated 29 November 1910.  The medal was awarded to Army and Navy personnel and civilian leaders who took part in the ceremonies to establish the Union of South Africa from the unification of the former Colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange River Colony.

The medal was awarded on the recommendation of the Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies. A roll was to be kept and was to be closed six months after the date of the warrant at which time awards could only be made with Royal Approval.


The medal was awarded unnamed and made in silver.  It is 36mm in diameter.  The obverse bears the effigy of King George V, facing left and surrounded by the legend: "GEORGIVS V BRITT:OMN:REX ET IND:IMP:"  The reverse depicts the god Mercury, the god of commerce and prosperity, forging links of a chain on an anvil, with four links each bearing the name of a Province of the Union of South Africa, "CAPE OF GOOD HOPE", "NATAL", "TRANSVAAL" and "ORANGE RIVER".  The year "1910" is entwined by an olive branch.  Around the circumference is the inscription "TO COMMEMORATE THE UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA".  The ribbon is 38mm wide; two 10mm wide orange bands separated by an 18mm wide dark blue band.


580 medals were awarded.  21 to the RN, 52 to the British Army, 41 to South African forces, 465 to civilians, of which 31 were women, and one to a member of foreign services.

German SWA DSO group to Lt Col S Carter, O/C UMR 1908-1924
Group to Paymaster Captain W. H. Eves, Royal Navy. DNW July 2011. £920
Boer War DSO and MVO group to Major R F S Grant, Rifle Brigade. DNW June 2012, £4,500
Group to Brigadier-General A. Lawson, Queen’s Bays, late Scots Greys. DNW Sept 2008 £2,200
CBE DSO MC group to Lieutenant-Colonel H. M. Meyler, late Middlesex Regt
Union of South Africa Medal
Medals to His Excellency Sir Henry Bale, KCMG KC, Chief Justice and Administrator of Natal. DNW Sep 2013 £1,900
Group to Lieutenant-Colonel L E Becher, Royal Engineers. DNW 2012 £3,100


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(580 Records)

 Surname   Forename   Rank   Notes   Unit 
AbadieEustace H ECaptain9th Lancers. ADC (addnl) to HE Governor General
1 of 580 awards
9th (The Queen's Royal) Lancers
AggF J GCaptain1st Bn KOYLI. Commanding the Guard of Honour during the Royal Visit to Cape Town
2 of 580 awards
(King's Own) Yorkshire Light Infantry
AlbertsJohannes JMember of the Union House of Assembly.
3 of 580 awards
AlexanderMorrisMember of the late House of Assembly, Cape of Good Hope. Member of the Union House of Assembly.
4 of 580 awards
AndersonWilliam TMember of the late House of Assembly, Cape of Good Hope
5 of 580 awards
AngusF TMember of the late Legislative Council, Natal
6 of 580 awards
ArchibaldR MSpeaker of the Late Legislative Council, Natal
7 of 580 awards
ArmstrongG SMember of the late Legislative Council, Natal
8 of 580 awards
ArnottWilliamLt ColOC Border Mounted Rifles
9 of 580 awards
Border Mounted Rifles
AstonG GBrig GenOn the Staff
10 of 580 awards
AucampHendrik LMember of the late House of Assembly, Cape of Good Hope. Member of the Union House of Assembly.
11 of 580 awards
BadenhorstJacobus FMember of the late House of Assembly, Cape of Good Hope
12 of 580 awards
BaileyAbeMember of the late Legislative Assembly, Transvaal
13 of 580 awards
BaleHenryJudge President, Natal
14 of 580 awards
BalfourHarry HLt ColTransvaal Medical Corps.
15 of 580 awards
Transvaal Medical Staff Corps
BanburyWilliamRN. Chief Carpenter, HMS Balmoral Castle
16 of 580 awards
BarlowArthur GMember of the late Legislative Assembly, Orange River Colony
17 of 580 awards
BaxterWilliam DuncanMember of the late House of Assembly, Cape of Good Hope. Member of the Union House of Assembly.
18 of 580 awards
BayleyZachary SColonelMember of the late Legislative Council, Cape of Good Hope
19 of 580 awards
BaynesJosMember of the late Legislative Council, Natal
20 of 580 awards
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