I remember a post recently by David about the number of DTD and DSO combinations. I have searched but can't find it though.
I think it was 23? But I remember 70 from somewhere too. Does anyone know how many there were?
What about an ABO and a DCM or MM? I would have considered that more numerically likely? I can understand an officer going on to be as brave or good a leader as he was before hence the DSO. But there must be a gallantry to an NCO somewhere?
I have recently purchased this group. The BWM is an erased one unfortunately. The group is to JA Wessels.
My count for DTD/DSO combinations is 42 definite and one possible. 36 of the DSO awards were for German SWA
and 7 for East Africa.
The group to one of the East Africa recipients is shown below
J J Koen DTD DSO CdeG
Johannes Jacobus Koen was born in Uniondale, Cape Province on 5 Feb 1875.
He came to the Orange Free State in the mid-1890’s and joined the Free State Artillery under Major Albrecht. He subsequently moved to the ZAR where he was in government service in Braamfontein.
In 1899 he moved back to the Free State and, when war broke out in October 1899, he joined as Corporal in the Free State Artillery, serving with the Bethulie Commando.
He saw action at Stormberg and Colesberg, prior to being promoted to Lieutenant in the Free State Artillery. He was also present at Abrahamskraal (Driefontein), Sanna’s Post , the Siege of Wepener and Roodewal (7 June 1900) where all the supplies intended for Roberts in Pretoria, including 2000 bags with mail, were destroyed by Genl De Wet.
Early in 1901, when De Wet returned from the Cape Colony, he appointed Koen as Commandant of the Ladybrand Commando. Koen’s last major engagement was at Krismiskop (Tweefontein) on 25 Dec1901. In May 1902 he was elected as one of the Free State Delegates to the Peace Negotiations at Vereeniging. He voted in favour of ending the war.
After the war he concentrated on farming, having bought a farm in the Senekal district.
During the Rebellion in 1914 he was Major in the Senekal Commando under Genls Smuts and Van Deventer and played an active role in the suppression of the uprising in the Free State. In Feb 1915 he was promoted Lt Col and served in German SWA as O/C of the 3rd Regt, 5th Mtd Bgde.
He was later (LG 22 Aug 1918) Mentioned in Despatches for services in GSWA : “For distinguished and gallant services and leadership. At Otavifontein he attacked the left flank of the enemy with 30 men which misled the enemy and had a favourable result on the general issue.” In the same London Gazette he was awarded the French Croix de Guerre, also for distinguished service in GSWA.
In December 1915 he was appointed O/C of the 3rd SA Horse, seeing extensive service in East Africa. He was Mentioned in Despatches (LG 30 June 1916). On 22 Nov 1916 Gen Smuts sent him a telegram, thanking him for services rendered and advising him that he had been recommended for the DSO. This was duly awarded in the LG of 30 Jan 1917. He was released from service in March 1917.
Late in 1921 he was awarded the DTD and ABO medal for his Boer War services and in 1935 he received the Jubilee medal.
In Feb 1940, Gen Smuts appealed to the 69 year old Koen to return to the Defence Force. As a result he served with the rank of LtCol (T/Col) as O/C of the 2nd (Voortrekkerhoogte) and then the 1st (Ladysmith) Mounted Brigade Commando until finally released from service on 31 July 1942.
He died on his farm Louterwater on 13 October 1957. He was survived by his wife, 7 daughters and a son and was buried at Senekal.
His decorations and medals cover a period of war service spanning 43 years:
• DTD : Kommandant J J Koen
• DSO (GeoV)
• ABO : Kommandant J J Koen
• 14/15 Star : Lt.Kol J J Koen Brands V.S.S.
• BWM : Lt Kol J J Koen
• AVM(Bil) with MiD oak-leaf: Lt Kol J J Koen
• BWM : 25480 J J Koen
• ASM : 25480 J J Koen
• 1935 Jubilee medal : Lt Kol J J Koen Retired
• French Croix de Guerre (dated 1914-1918) with bronze Palm Leaf
I acquired the group from his one grandson: he also gave me a 1937 Coronation Medal with a faded copy of an undated, and factually not so correct, newspaper report (probably from “The Friend”: Bloemfontein) that implied that Koen was a late recipient of the medal after special representations had been made to King George. I have not yet been able to verify this.