ABO (Burger S.P. Klokman);
BWM and AVM (Bil.) (Pte S.P. Klokman 3rd. S.A.I.)
Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps Medal (JVC) no bar unnamed as issued.
City Coins, June 2012.
In an article in the Military History Journal, vol 1, No. 4, June 1969, the late D.R. Forsyth reported on the Johannesburg Volunteer Corps (JVC) and the elusive Medal awarded to its members. He stated that the Corps was formed on 18 Sept 1894 and disbanded on 1 Jan 1899. Early members of the Corps saw service during the Jameson Raid (1895-96) and some were involved in an expedition to Swaziland to help keep order after the murder of Chief Induna Mbaba in 1898. Bronze medals, 47 mm dia, with a green, red, white and blue ribbon were issued to the 69 volunteers, probably in July or Aug 1898. The medals were struck by Messrs Begeer of Utrecht, Holland and were paid for by the Corps‟ Founder and Commandant, Lt Col S.H. van Diggelen. Two slip-on bronze bars were also issued: "Jameson Inval en Revolutie te Johannesburg, 1895-1896" and "Swazieland Expeditie, 1898."
Simon Pierre Klokman was born in Rotterdam, Holland in 1876 and probably came to the ZAR in the mid-1890‟s as a Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij (NZASM) employee involved with the construction of the railway-line from Pretoria to Delagoa Bay. Some time after arrival he must have joined the JVC: his name is listed in the 1st Infantry Section of a hand-written nominal roll of the Corps, containing 600 names and signed by Lt Col van Diggelen on 10 June 1898. Klokman received a no-bar medal, implying that he joined the JVC after the Jameson Raid and also was not one of the 110-strong contingent that was chosen for the Swaziland expedition. Klokman was commandeered for Boer War service with the Boksburg Commando under Gen Chris Muller on 11 Oct 1899. He surrendered to the British sometime in 1901 and ended the war in the Middelburg Concentration Camp. He served in the Zululand Mounted Rifles between 1908 and 1912 and then attested for WWI service with the SAMC in the Union (Dec 1916 to March 1917) followed by service in EA with the 3rd SAI up to the end of 1919. Klokman‟s initial application for an ABO medal was made in March 1921. According to his Vorm “B” (signed by Genl C.H. Muller) he was present at all the major Natal battles (Spion Kop included) as well as during the retreat through the Transvaal in 1900 and up to an unspecified date in 1901 when he surrendered between Bothasberg and Tautesberg, north of Middelburg.
In a covering letter he stated:
―we were surrounded and after one gun was blown up (Long Tom) the men who were without a horse were advised by General Muller to stay with the wagons and they rode off at about 4am in the morning of ?? 1901. I have kept no diary, therefore am unable to give exact date. Early at dawn a whole lot of wagons, wives & children and a number of men surrendered to the British Forces (including me) and were transported to the Middelburg Concentration Camp. In that Camp I did registration of Births and Deaths at a remuneration of 2/6 per day………
Why they did not send me away as a Prisoner of War is not known to me…
The application was turned down: reason noted on Vorm “B” was that he did not serve under arms on 31 May 1902. In Feb/March 1939 he again applied for an ABO medal, having filled in a new Vorm “B”. His covering letter basically contained the same information as the 1921 one and he stressed that at the time when the camp was closed he became Magistrate‟s Clerk in Middelburg. Inexplicably, this second application was successful and he duly received an ABO medal in April 1939.
Klokman withheld vital information in his ABO applications: he did not mention that he was appointed Clerk in the Magistrate‟s Office, Middelburg on 1 Jan 1902 at an annual salary of £245- nor that during the second week of May 1902 he took the Oath of Allegiance to the Crown and became a British Subject before of the Boer War had ended! Had these facts been disclosed to the Medal Board he would never have been awarded the ABO medal.
This item is a prime ZAR rarity.
In 43 years of Medal Auctions, City Coins has only handled one other group containing a Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps medal.
No record could be found of any other local or overseas Auction House having had a Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps group on offer.