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World War Two. Defence Medal
Image by Jimmy Big Potatoes
The Defence Medal was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in World War II. It was instituted to recognise both military and some types of civilian service.
This type of service in the UK includes, but is not confined to, those civilian personnel who worked as members of:
Royal Observer Corps
Fire Brigades, including the National Fire Service (NFS)
Civil Defence Messenger Service
The qualifying time required depending on the area served is:
UK – 1080 days
Overseas non-operational – 360 days
Overseas non-operational in an area deemed to be closely threatened or subject to air attack -180 days
Description[edit source | editbeta]A circular, silver (.800 fine) medal, 36mm in diameter. The British issue medals were made of cupro-nickel.
The obverse shows the bareheaded effigy of King George VI, facing left, and the legend: GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX F:D:IND:IMP: (George 6th, by the grace of god, king of all the Britains, defender of the faith, emperor of India)
On the reverse, the Royal Crown rests on the stump of an oak tree, flanked by a lion and a lioness. At the top left is the date 1939, and at the top right, the date 1945. The base of the medal has the words ‘THE DEFENCE/MEDAL’ in two lines.
The ribbon is flame coloured in the centre flanked by stripes of green to symbolise enemy attacks on Britain’s green and pleasant land, with narrow black stripes to represent the black-out.
Entitlement[edit source | editbeta]If you served either full-time or part-time for not less than 3 years in the United Kingdom during the period of active hostilities in Europe between September 1939 and May 1945 in any of the categories listed in section below.
If service in any of these categories was brought to an end before the period of 3 years’ service had been completed by injuries entitling you to a Wound Stripe. (If death occurred due to enemy action when on duty, next of kin may apply for the Defence Medal)
If, without regard to the 3-year requirement, you received an Honours, Decoration or Medal or King’s Commendation for brave conduct or King’s Commendation for valuable service in the air, which was published in the London Gazette, provided that when the Award or King’s Commendation was earned, you were serving in a category eligible for the Defence Medal and that the distinction was granted in respect of service qualifying for the Defence Medal;
If you undertook non-operational service in the Force overseas from or outside the country of residence. The time qualification is 1 year overseas, reduced to 6 months in those areas considered closely threatened or subjected to air attack. Such time amounting to less than a year, or 6 months as the case may be, may be added at its actual time value to service of less than 3 years at home;
If you served for 3 months in a Mine and Bomb disposal unit.
Service in the various eligible categories may be added together providing the periods of service were not undertaken at the same time.
Categories of Entitlement[edit source | editbeta]1. Ex-member of the Armed Force or of the Women’s Military Auxiliary Services.
2. Home Guard
3. Medical Services (overseas)
Joint War Organisation of British Red Cross
Society and the Order of St John of Jerusalem
(British Red Cross Society)
American Field Service
4. Philanthropic Bodies (Overseas)
Army Scripture Readers’ Association
Catholic Women’s League
Christian Scientists (Officiating Minister).
Christian Scientists Welfare Workers( Librarians and Secretaries )
Church of England Soldiers’,Sailors’ and Airmen’s Institute
Church of Scotland.
Incorporated Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Help Society
Methodist and United Board Churches
Mission to Mediterranean Garrisons.
Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s’Families Association
Young Men’s Christian Association
Young Women’s Christian Association
5. Voluntary Societies under the Council of British Society for Relief Abroad
Catholic Committee for Relief Abroad
Guide International Relief Service
International Voluntary Service for Peace
Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad
Joint War Organisation of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John of Jerusalem.
Save the Children Fund, Registered Charity
Scout International Relief Service
World Student Relief ( also known as International Student Service) ( London Committee).
Young Women’s Christian Association.
6. N.A.A.F.I. ( Overseas)
N.A.A.F.I.Women’s Voluntary Service
Civilian Uniformed Employees.
Entertainment National Service Association
7. Other Organisations and independent members ( Overseas)
Allied Expeditionary Force Club
Army Schoolmistresses, Malta.
Assistant Commissioners H.M Forces war Savings Committee
Civil Defence Service Overseas Column
National Fire Service Overseas Column
Technical Representative Civilian . R.E.M.E
Telecom Personnel (Cable and Wireless Ltd
War Correspondents including Americans who served between 3/9/39 and 8/12/41 inclusive
War Office King’s Messengers
Women’s Voluntary Service A.W.S.
Women’s Transport Service A.W.S.
Women’s Transport Service F.A.N.Y.Special Parties.
8. Civil Defence Warden service including Shelter Warden
9. Civil Defence Rescue Service, including former First Aid Party Services, or in London, Stretcher Party Services
10. Civil Defence Decontamination Service
11. Civil Defence Report and Control Service
12. Civil Defence Messenger Service.
13. Civil Defence Ambulance Service including sitting Case Cars.
14. Civil Defence First Aid Service, including First Aid Posts and Points. Public Cleaning Centres. Mobile Cleaning Units and the Nursing Service for public air-raid shelters.
15. Civil Defence Gas Identification Service.
16. Rest Centre Service.
17. Emergency Food Services including Queen’s Messenger Convoy Services
18. Canteen Services.
19. Administration and Information Centre Services not Ministry of Information Services
20. Mortuary Services
21. Fire guards
who performed duties under a local authority in any areas where the establishment of a fire guard organisation was compulsory or was approved by the Regional Commissioner in Northern Ireland, the Ministry responsible being service which was qualifying service for the award of Chevrons for war services
including civil defence and Fire brigade personnel who performed duties at government or business premises under arrangements made under the Fire Guard Business and Government Premises Order 1943, or any previous provision or under the corresponding Order in Northern Ireland being service which was qualifying service for the award of Chevron for war service
22. E.N.S.A (Entertainments National Service Association)
23. Women’s Voluntary Service for Civil Defence
being members who were eligible for war service red chevrons by reasons that they performed on behalf of a local authority duties analogous to those, of the eligible local authority civil defence services, and were engaged in a section of the W.V.S, which had,or would have had, operational functions during or immediately after enemy Reserve.. authorities, who do not qualify for the W.V.S members who were enrolled members of one of the eligible local authority services should apply as laid down for categories 8 – 19 above.
24. Civil Nursing Reserve.
25. Nurses or Midwives in hospitals for which Government Department or Local Authorities are responsible, or in the recognised voluntary hospitals
26. National Fire Services including services in a local authority Fire Brigade or the Auxiliary Fire Services prior to nationalisation.
27. Police Regular Police, First Police Reserve, Police War Reserve, Women’s Auxiliary Police Corps, Police Auxiliary Messenger Service, Special Constabulary.
28. Royal Marine Police Special Reserve..
29. Admiralty Civil Police.
30. War Department Constabulary.
31. Air Ministry Constabulary.
32. Railway and Dock Police
33. Civil Defence Services set up by Railway Dock authority and Canal Undertakings
34. American Ambulance. Great Britain
35. Civil Air Transport, Air crew only
36. Air Transport Auxiliary, Air crew only
37. Civil Defence Reserve
38. Kent County Civil Defence Mobile Reserve
39. West Sussex County Civil Defence Mobile attacks
40. Coast Guard
41. Civil Servants forming departmental Civil Defence organisations
42. Lighthouse keepers who served under the three general lighthouse Authorities, and keepers of Light Vessel under those authority, who do not qualify for the 1939 – 45 Star
43. Port of London Authority River Emergency Service
44. Clyde River Patrol.
45. Royal Observer Corps.
46. Volunteer Stretcher Bearers Emergency Hospital Scheme
47. Male Orderlies in Casualty Evacuation Trains Emergency Medical Service
48. Emergency Information Officers and their helpers( who served under the Ministry of Information, and including Deputy E.I.Os.Announcers, Drivers, and Messengers, if engage in a section of the Service which had, operational functions during or immediately after enemy attack.
49. R.A.F. Education Officers serving in the United Kingdom
50. Enrolled lifeboat men R.N.L.I. who do not qualify for the 1939 – 45 Star.