South Africa Defence Force
Western Province Command Signal Unit 1975 - 1999
[Colin Hodgkins collection SA 0043]
[Colin Hodgkins collection SA 0045]
Pocket or Breast badge
Breast or Pocket badge (right) is a size reduced shield of the same construction and design as the larger shoulder flash. It is secured by two stick pins to a leather or vinyl fob and is buttoned on to the breast pocket.
The lineage, designations and history: The Western Province Command was previously Cape Command and before that a numbered military District until the 1930’s.
In 1939 Cape Command headquarters was at Castle of Good Hope Cape Town and consisted 3rd Infantry Brigade, 8th Infantry Brigade, 1st Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Coastal Artillery, Cape Field Artillery, Engineers and Searchlight Unit.
Signallers worked with the Engineer, Coastal Artillery and Searchlight Units providing Line communication, Radar and general signalling as 21 Fortress Signals. Re-designated Cape Command Signal Squadron in 1946 and from 1955 to 1964 was the Western Province Signal Squadron. Western Province Command itself being formed in 1959. Re-designated 101 Signal Squadron in 1964 until, again re-designated in 1969 to Western Province Command Signal Squadron.
The Squadron reverted back to 101 Signal Squadron on 1st September 1971 until on 1st August 1975 it became Western Province Command Signal Unit. As part of the establishment and reorganisation of the CMI Formation it was disbanded in 1999.
hese are two examples of the Western Province Command Signal Unit flashes. SA 0043 is with Table Mountain in white and SA 0045 the more common variant has Table Mountain in gold. They are a metal based badge faced in coloured epoxy resin, secured by three stick pins.
Western Province Command Signal Unit insignia is Table Mountain from the coat of arms of the Province on a shield of vertical Signal Corps colours of Green, light Blue and Dark Blue. Approved 16th September 1974.
[Colin Hodgkins collection SA 0273]
Beret Command Button Badge
The Design Card states Azure Blue background and Table Mountain in Silver approved 10th June 1987. This badge has Table Mountain in gold as that is the base metal colour.
This is a good point to mention that button badges often got cross-used due to short supply and above is likely an official Western Province Cmd. button despite the gold colour. It was likely used officially as the Western Province Workshop button described on the design card as White Table Mountain on Union Jack Blue background. Azure Blue and Union Jack (Union Flag of the United Kingdom) are very similar if not the same.
[Colin Hodgkins collection SA 0228]
[Colin Hodgkins collection SA 0230]
Left is the first version of WP Signal Unit the beret button badge on a breast pocket fob. This unofficial version was proposed in 1982 but not accepted.