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Today I added the Air Efficiency Award which, when it was introduced in 1943 was unique in being awarded to all ranks of the Volunteer and Auxiliary Air Force. This is believed to be in recognition of the use of aircrew made up of both officers and other ranks. However, only officers were permitted the post-nominals A.E.
Next up, for the UK, is a raft of police long service medals… unless I get distracted by Robin who has sent me a pile of United Nations medal images for the site!
Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medals today, as well as the far scarcer Royal Air Force Levies LS&GC Medal awarded to locally recruited individuals in Iraq. As only 309 medals were awarded it’s not surprising I couldn’t find all variations!
Today I’ve added the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service Medal. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary are the people who resupply Royal Naval ships at sea, but their vessels are crewed by civilians who are therefore not eligible for Royal Navy medals. I also added a couple of medals for volunteers, the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service Long Service Medal and the Voluntary Medical Service Medal for members of the British Red Cross and St Andrew’s Ambulance Corps (a Scottish organisation). Members of St John’s Ambulance Brigade have their own medal, the Service Medal of the Order of St John.
Today a couple of medals for the ambulance service. The ‘official’ award is the Ambulance Service (Emergency Duties) Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, but as this was only established in 1996, the Association of Chief Ambulance Officers had been awarding their own Service Medal. Not sure if they award it any longer now that there is an official award to be had!
Today some unusual medals related to civil defence. Firstly, the Royal Observer Corps Medal. The Royal Observer Corps was a civil defence organisation intended for the visual detection, identification, tracking and reporting of aircraft over Great Britain. In 1955 it was allocated the additional task of detecting and reporting nuclear explosions and associated fall-out. It operated in the United Kingdom between 29 October 1925 and 31 December 1995, when the Corps’ civilian volunteers were stood down.
The other medal is the Civil Defence Long Service Medal, which gathers members of several organisations whose role is to aid the civilian population in the event of some kind of incident – warfare or natural disaster. Most of these organisations no longer exist, so the medal is dormant, but could be revived if the need arose. It has 3 different reverses, with one for mainland Britian and for Northern Ireland (because the initials of the organisations involved differed) then a third ‘general’ reverse brought in when people in Gibraltar, Hong Kong and Malta were made eligible. This last reverse was used for all awards after 1968. Unfortunately, every image I can find is the ‘Britain’ reverse, so I shall have to keep hunting for the other two reverses.
Do let us know if they respond, please.
That’s very interesting, thank you for sharing.
No, I’m following the logic of who awarded the medals – the British Crown. When I move on to New Zealand Medals I’ll be using the current order of precedence as laid out by the New Zealand Government.
Anyway, to return to today’s pictures: two for local part-time service in Northern Ireland, the Ulster Defence Regiment Medal and its replacement the Northern Ireland Home Service Medal; and then the Cadet Forces Medal (which, for gmcleod’s information, is also awarded to New Zealand Adult Instructors in the cadets!).
Three medals for New Zealand today, issued by the UK before New Zealand had its own honours system, so belonging in the UK section. They are the New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal, the New Zealand Volunteer Service Medal and the New Zealand Territorial Medal. All three are distinctive in that they don’t have the usual obverse of a monarch’s head with the relevant titles inscribed around them, but none of them lasted very long either!
Today I added the Royal Hong Kong Regiment Disbandbent Medal (mostly ‘cos it’s listed in the Medals Year Book, although recipients had to purchase them for themselves…), the Canadian Forces Decoration (again MYB lists it ampngst UK Long Service medals but also in its appropriate place in Canada’s honours system!) and the Victoria Volunteer Long and Efficient Service Medal.
OK, well I found a not-very-good image of the Trans-Jordan Frontier Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in Wikipedia Commons… and have also added a couple of South African variants on UK long service medals, notable because they are bilingual in English and Afrikaans. These are the South Africa Permanent Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, for full-time soliders, and the Efficiency Medal (South Africa) for volunteer part-timers. Neither lasted very long, being established in 1939 and discontinued in 1952 when South Africa set up their own honours system.
Today a couple more obscure ‘single unit’ long service and good conduct medals – for the Royal West African Frontier Force and the King’s African Rifles. There’s one for the Trans-Jordan Frontier Force as well, but I have yet to find a picture of it – only 112 were awarded during the 10 years the unit existed (1938-1948) so I may be looking for quite some time 🙂
Apologies for the hiatus – I’ve not been very well. I am now recovered, and have added the Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Long Service and Good Conduct Medal – a short-lived attempt to consolidate the plethora of Colonial Long Service and Good Conduct Medals, which was in turn replaced by the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) with common design and ribbon, and the name of the colony in which service was undertaken on the suspension (#0229A in the Long Service section of the database).
Back to the vast array of long service medals, and the Colonial Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, which had a range of different ones depending on which Colony’s forces the recipient served in. They are quite hard to find – if anyone has images to fill the gaps in our collection, I’d be very grateful.
Off now, it’s my 35th wedding anniversary today. Must find my husband and celebrate!
Not much time today as I spent yesterday teaching distance learners – who come in for ‘on-campus days’ occasionally, so am now cramming a weekend into one afternoon (seeing as I attended church as normal this morning)!
However, I have added a new(ish) British Campaign Medal, the Operational Service Medal (Iraq and Syria), known as the Operation Shader Medal. It was authorised in 2017 but eligibility criteria are still being thrashed out. You see it ha been decided that it can be awarded (without the IRAQ-SYRIA clasp) to individuals who have made significant contributions to the operation without actually setting foot in area! Notable amongst those are drone operators, a sign of the changing face of warfare. (It’s on page 20 of the Campaign Medals section under United Kingdom in the Images Database if you want to take a look.)