As you may be aware the service numbering of medals varied throughout a persons service, not only when they changed force e.g. regular Police transferring to the Police Reserve, but also whilst remaining in the same service; the latter I understand was due to computerisation of records, e.g. 3666 became 723666
Another scenario may be when a soldier may be commissioned, it is likely that his service number will have changed.
I suggest initially searching for the full service number on the medal i.e. 723666 and reviewing the results, if no results are returned or results that are returned are not what you’re looking for then try searching for a reduced length i.e. 3666.
Naming of medals varied from service to service and from ethnicity to ethnicity and I shall offer some suggestions by ethnicity.
Early colonial medals awarded to Africans appear to have been regularly named to the recipient’s forename
e.g. 9658 Afr Stat Sgt Elias was awarded the CPM (MS), gazetted as ELIAS, Station Sergeant and then subsequently awarded the CPLSM gazetted as 9658 African Station Sergeant Elias Mkandla; in this example the recipients name would be stored in the database as Forename=Elias Surname=Mkandla and not Surname=Elias.
Another example of name changing would be:
9598 Afr Sgt Chimamise, BSAP, recipient of the CPLSM is subsequently appointed Chief Chitanga of Nuanetsi and is further awarded the ICD and Presidents Medal for Chiefs.
There are also numerous variations of spelling of names for example
Sergeant Major Abel Machokoto Mukuyah (13982) is gazetted receiving his PLSM to 13982 Sergeant Muvuyah
European names tend be recorded correctly, however, as further information has become available some names have been corrected/varied form that recorded in the gazettes or inscribed on the medals.