An Extremely Rare 'German South West Africa' DCM to Sergeant S G M Steenkamp, Ermelo Commando, South-West African Force.
DCM GV (Sgt. Ermelo Commando.)
DCM LG 22 Aug 1918 .... For distinguished service in the Field, in connection with the campaign in German South West Africa, 1914-15' The Recommendation states: 'Sergeant Ermelo 'A' Commando, (Northern Army, 2nd Mounted Brigade, Right Wing). He showed exceptional bravery at the battle of Pforte and was always trustworthy and obedient in the execution of his orders. He was severely wounded. His conduct at all times was exemplary and worthy of special recognition.'
Sergeant Solomon Gerhardus Martinus Steenkamp fought against the British in the Anglo-Boer War from December 1899-1902 in Natal and the Transvaal; he served with the Swaziland Commando and was present at Onderbaek, Helpmakaar and 'Almansnek' (Anglo-Boer War Medal)
Some of the DCM's, MC's and other medals awarded to South Africans for service in GSWA came only later in 1918, perhaps as tokens from the British for a campaign that had not involved them. It seems that for selected regiments there was a DSO for OC's, an MC for a junior officers, and a DCM for a senior NCO. There were seldom if ever citations, but it does seem that Sergeant Steenkamp deserved his award.
I had not realised the awards were gazetted so late. If they were listed at a similar time, it would be feasible to look for other matches with the ABO roll.
That pattern of issuing a number of awards per regiment looks more a statistical distribution exercise than rewards for individual acts and is reminiscent of many Boer War awards which would account for the lack of citations.
The "statistical distribution" of the awards does rather devalue them, but I suppose that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, one should take them all at face value. It was serving soldiers at the time who would have been aware of favouritism and injustices, but I have not heard of any open criticism coming to light.