About the product

Dutch Burgher Ceylon Police SJAB Pair

Ceylon Police Independence Medal, 1948, Service Medal of St John, 2 additional clasps, Inspector Vernon Frederick Solomonsz, Ceylon Sri Lanka Police, a Ceylonese Dutch Burgher.

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Origin: United Kingdom
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Ceylon Police Independence Medal, 1948, Service Medal of the Order of St John, silver plated metal post 1947 type, with 2 additional service clasps, Inspector Vernon Frederick Solomonsz, Ceylon & Sri Lanka Police, a Ceylonese Dutch Burgher.


A scarce Ceylon issue of the Service Medal of the Order of St John.


Both medals mounted for wear on old ribbons.


Ceylon Police Medal unnamed
St John engraved: “8261 Inspector V.F. Solomonsz Ceylon Police Corps 1956”
2 Additional bars on the ribbon each representing 5 years of further service.


An article titled “Burghers – Pride of the Police” by S. Sivendram, a Retired Senior Superintendent of Police, goes into detail into the Burghers of the police force and mentions Solomonsz amongst a list of excellent Burghers he had know during his time with the Police.


Burghers Pride of the Police, which mentions Solomonsz


A 1962 Case file in the Sri Lanka Courts state that during that year, V.F. Solomonsz, was the officer in charge of the Police Station on “Slave Island”.


During the case the petitioner, applied for a “Habeas Corpus” for her husband to be released, and it was determined that Solomonsz had detained him unlawfully, and was ordered to release the prisoner. The case Avaummah v Solmonsz is now part of Sri Lanka case law.



Inspector Vernon F. Solomonsz was a native Ceylonese man who came from the “Dutch Burghers” ethnic group.


The Dutch Burghers are Sri Lankan, with a mixed Dutch, Portuguese Burghers and Sri Lankan heritage.


They speak English was well as the local languages of Sinhala and Tamil. This hybrid of languages made them, even though they were a small minority, favourites of the English during the period of the colony of British Ceylon due to their hybrid dialect for roles in the Civil Service such as with the Police, with English being the country’s official language.


He continued with his role in the Police well into the period after Ceylon Independence, with the Sri Lanka Police into the 1960s, but by 1966 when he would have earned his last clasp to the St John Medal, for another 2 sets of 5 years following 1956, many of the Burghers had been forced from their homes, it is not known whether he remained in Sri Lanka or emigrated


However things did get progressively worse for the minority Burghers in Sri Lanka, with the rise of Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism, they passed the “Sinhala Only Act” in 1956, which turned out to be severely discriminatory against the non native “Tamil” speakers as well as the the Burghers who spoke English.


A mass exodus then ensued, many migrated out of the country, with things getting worse as Solomonsz career carried on.


Most of the Burghers left for Australia, they now mostly reside in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, however they have mostly been forced out of Sri Lanka and they now number about 100,000 but most of them are in Australia.


As of 1981, the census recorded the the Burghers now only had about 40,000 residents left