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    WW2 Entitlement - Service only in Aden, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Iraq or Palestine

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    Can any one advise what WW2 Star, if any, other than the 39/45 Star would a locally enlisted service man - e.g. Cyprus Regiment, Palestine Regiment, Aden Protectorate Levies, Iraq Levies, qualify for their local service during the war?

    Am I correct in assuming that their service in such locations would, subject to the regulatory time periods, entitle them to the 1939/45 Star (6 months operational service), Defence Medal (12 months non-operational service) and War Medal (28 days operational service).

    I have seen Ethiopian medal groups including the 1939/45 and Africa Stars (presumably service with Gideon Force involved in the liberation of Ethiopia from Italian Occupation) but not War Medals - would this be because the recipient were not on Commonwealth strength but added locally to an operational unit of allied forces? Is there a record of the distribution of these stars?

    Many thanks for your assistance,

    Kind regards,

    Owain Raw-Rees

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    Qualifications for the 1939-45 Star:

    Army (1) "Six months service in an operational command, except for service in Dunkirk, Norway and in some specific commando raids and other services for which the qualifying period was one day. Airborne troops qualified if they had participated in any airborne operations and had completed two months service in an operational unit."

    RAF (1) "Operations against the enemy... [with] two months service... (2) Non-aircrew... six months service... except that service at Dunkirk, and in Norway, etc. also counted."

    I wonder whether "other services" might cover SOE drops into Frnace and so on - high risk if short duration.

    The Merchant Navy had to do six months or had performed service during the Dunkirk evacuation.

    Source: Tapprell Dorling, British Battles and Medals, 4th edition, 1971.

    According to Wikipedia:

    • The War Medal 1939–1945 - Awarded to Levies after 28 days of service in World War Two.
    • The 1939-1945 Star - Awarded to Levies after six months service in World War Two.
    • The Italy Star - Awarded to parachute company personnel that served in Albania, Italy and/or Greece.

    A number of companies of the Assyrian Levies served in Cyprus and Malta as well as the Middle East.

    Members of the Cyprus Regiment - mule pack companies - were in France before Dunkirk, and the unit served in North Africa during the qualifying period for that Star, as well as in Italy, so may have qualified for those two Stars as well.

    Edited by peter monahan
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    Africa Star: "one or more days service in North Africa between 10 June, 1940 and 12 May 1943..." Army qualification was "entry into North Africa on the establishment of an operational unit... Service in Abysinnia, The Somalilands, Erirea and, be it noted, Malta was included, but not that in West Africa" [same source]. So presumably, Ethiopians in Imperial service would qualify by virtue of their unit being declared 'operational' for one or more days.

    Current MOD info. says service in Abyssinia and so on was 'between certain specified dates' but does not give those. I suspect they have to do with when and where untis were considered to be operational, as opposed to actual battles or campaigns, but I may be wrong.

    The War Medal was awarded for 28 days service, so the Iraq Levies would indeed qualify, I think. Award of the War Medal was automatic with the award of any of the Stars.

    Edited by peter monahan
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    The Aden Protectorate Levies seem to have been used largely for garrison duties, though the anti-aircraft unit formed in 1939 did apparently shoot down at least one Italian aircraft, so at the very least those men would have qualified for a War and Defence Medal, I think, while the rest probably qualified for the War Medal. Again, info. compliments of Wikipedia. There was at one point a web site called 'assyrianlevies,com' but it doesn't appear to be active any longer.

    I suspect records for these medals, which would have been scrupulously recorded at the time, are in most cases with the RAF records, wherever those are currently kept. For the Ethiopians, no idea - they may have disappeared in the ensuing years.

    I hope this is all of some slight interest to the members.


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    • 2 weeks later...


    Many thanks for your input and please accept my apologies for the delay in responding. In summary I would suggest that such locally enlisted men in the afore mentioned units if they remained within their local areas/territories would qualify, subject to the qualifying periods, only for the 39/45 Star & War Medal. If they then entered another Star theatre on service - Africa or Italy, they could then qualify for such stars.

    However I note from my records with regard to Aden that members of the APL serving during WW2 - see below - only received the Defence and War medals, presumably because Aden was not an operational command.

    (Lt. Col. Nadir Ali Pakistani joined the APL on 12 January 1943 and served until 1961 when he joined the newly formed Federal Regular Army. He saw garrison duty on the remote island of Socotra during the later stages of the war - his full entitlement - MBE July 1991 for service to FCO at the British Embassy in Aden, Defence & War Medals, GSM 1918-62 Clasp "Arabian Peninsula" named to Mulazim A. Nadir Ali Pakistani A.P.L., Meritorious Service Certificate British Forces Aden 1953, Meritorious Service Certificate Federation of South Arabia 1965.)

    Thus subject to regulatory time periods:

    Aden - not operational command - Defence & War Medals - I think that members of the Aden Police also qualified for these medals but am not 100% sure.

    Cyprus - was Cyprus an operational command and if so what star in addition to the 39/45 could have been applicable - if any?

    Ethiopia - locals attached to Gideon Force - 1939/45 & Africa Stars.

    Iraq - operational command (Rashid Ali Revolt) - 39/45 Star & War Medal. Africa Star for service in Malta. Could the Levies qualify for a Defence Medal?

    Palestine - er, don't know - need to look this up.

    As ever more questions than answers!

    Kind regards,


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    Dear Michael,

    Thanks for these links - the 39-45 Star is quiet clear.

    Some further research on Aden. The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals circa 1942 notes in "CONFIDENTIAL H.D.4019" :

    H.D. 3981 - Defence Medal - Lighthouse Keepers, Red Sea.

    H.D. 3982 - War & Defence Medal - Aden Armed Police & Aden Home Guard.

    "The Aden Armed Police was on 3 February 1942 proclaimed to be a military force under Section 3 of the Police Ordinance, 1937...........until the 10th October 1945 when the Order was revoked."

    "Aden Armed Police may qualify for the War Medal by 28 days full-time service between 3rd February 1942 and 2nd September 1945."

    The Home Guard are eligible for the Defence Medal, the time qualification being 2 years 9 months service (H.W.3546). The Governor would be reminded of this, and informed that the War Medal is available only for full-time Forces."

    Some 77 members of the Police (inc.19 British senior personnel) were awarded the War and Defence Medal - the War Medal list was published as an Appendix to General Notice 365 of 1948, dated 16 November 1948.

    With regard to the Aden Home Guard the entitlement to the Defence Medal was published as an Appendix to General Notice No. 999 (date unknown) :

    Maj. JR Kynaston OBE

    Capt. AJ Borland OBE

    Capt. RC Bailey

    Lt. WL Osborne OBE

    Lt. FW rant

    Lt. SG Smith

    Lt. MDA de Clermont

    Lt. DJ Allen (later Capt.))

    CSM PJ Harper (later RSM

    CQMS AJ Peters

    Sgt. JJ Colabawalla

    Kind regards,


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