The Keith Holshausen Collection

The Keith Holshausen Collection

Keith Holshausen

Keith Holshausen was born in South Africa and raised in Rhodesia. From 1976 he served as a National Service Patrol Officer (N.S.P.O.) in the British South Africa Police and was a member of the Police Anti· Terrorist Unit (P.A.T.U.).

Keith studied civil engineering at the University of Cape Town and worked in construction in Zulu land and in Zimbabwe. He is a chartered civil engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The Holshausen family originated in Germany and came to South Africa in 1854 as a part of the British German Legion which had been raised to fight the Russians in the Crimean War. The family has had a long military history, with successive generations fighting in the South African Frontier Wars (1800s), the Boer War, and the First and Second World Wars. Then Keith's father flew 75 combat missions in Korea in 1953 with 2 Squadron South African Air Force (S.A.A.F.), 'The Flying Cheetahs', and his brother flew as a pilot in the S.A.A.F. in the South African Bush War in Angola/South West Africa. His eldest son is a serving officer in the British Army with two tours of Afghanistan under his belt.

Medal collecting and research became a passion in the mid 1980s in Zimbabwe, spurred on by folk such as the late Wing Commander Peter Cooke, founding chairman of the Zimbabwe Medal Society, Brian Taylor, the doyen of British South Africa Police history, the late Senior Assistant Commissioner Alan Rich (B.S.A.P.) and the inimitable Peter Munday. Keith is a Founder member of the Zimbabwe Medal Society (Z.M.S.) and is a member of the Orders and Medals Research Society (O.M.R.S.).

Keith's medal collecting interest has been primarily British South Africa Police (B.S.A.P.), with a decided focus on gallantry awards. He has devoted countless hours to the research and assimilation of information on B.S.A.P. gallantry awards and has accumulated much in the way of personal and official unpublished material. He intends to publish a book on the subject in due course although his private collection of B.S.A.P. photographs made up almost two-thirds of those published in Blue and Old Cold, The History of the British South Africa Police 1889-1980, by Peter Gibbs, Hugh Phillips & Nick Russell (published in 2009 by 30deg South Publishers).