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THE DEFENCE MEDAL


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1.Service In The Forces In Non-Operational Areas Subjected To Air Attack Or Closely Threatened.Providing Such Service Last For Three Or More Years

2.Non-Operational Service In The Forces Overseas Or Outside The Country Of Residence,Providing That Such Service Lasted For One Year, Except In Territories Threatened By The Enemy Or Subject To Bomb Attacks,In Which Case It Was Six Months.

3.Civil Defence Or Other Similar Service In Military Operational Areas Providing The Civil Category Was Eligible For Campaign Stars.

4.The Qualifying Period Of Service In Mine And Bomb Disposal Units Was Three Months.

5.Those Who Were Awarded Campaign Stars Could Also,Providing They Fulfilled The Necessary Conditions, Be Awarded This Medal.

6. Service In The United Kingdom Forces In West Africa, Palestine And India Would Count For The Award Of This Medal, As Well As By Dominion Forces, Other Than Operational Air Crews, In Non-Operational Areas Outside Their Own Countries.

7. Part-Time Service In The Malta Home Guard Also Counted.

8. The Closing Date For Those In The Forces Was Extended To 2nd September,1945, For Those Serving Overseas.

9. Members Of Any Of The Civilian Services That Were Entitled To Wear Chevrons For Their War Service Were Eligible For This Medal.

10. Members Of The Home Guard Resident In The United Kingdom Qualified For The Medal By Rendering Three Years Service (Or Three Months In The Case Of Those Who Served In A Bomb And Mine Disposal Unit). British Citizens From Overseas Qualified With Six Months Service Or Three Months In The Bomb And Mine Disposal Units.

11. Service Curtailed By Death Due To Enemy Action Or Service Wounds Was Considered Eligible. Those Who Received A Personal Award Conferred By The King Were Also Eligible Irrespective Of Their Length Of Service Providing They Were Serving In A Category That Qualified For The Medal.

12. Recipients Of The George Cross, Or George Medal, Were Eligible For The Defence Medal Whether They Were Serving In A Category Eligible For The Medal Or Not, Providing That The Decorations Were Gained For Service In Civil Defence.

Edited by pikemedals
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RE: #6, I thought that the Defense Medal could only be awarded for service within the UK proper. I supposed that the India Service Medal replaced the Defense medal.

Am I wrong?

Edited by Ulsterman
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  • 6 years later...

I am pleased to see Paul's excellent description of the Defence Medal has come back to the front. Nick's comment at the time, that it would be good to have the criteria for all British WW2 medals listed - still stands. Does someone have the time - remember, it will be a reference site for years to come.

South Africans did not receive the Defence Medal - for home service - Police etc. - had two medals. The War Medal and the Africa Medal.

However, many Sth. Africans were sent to training camps in North Africa and Egypt - particularly when the invasion of Sicily was being planned. This

entitled them to the British Defence - and so, we do find-it on groups.

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Appendix of:-

COMMITTEE ON THE GRANT OF HONOURS DECORATIONS AND MEDALS IN TIME OF WAR

http://www.northeast...ars_defence.htm

Chevrons for War Service

16. Following are the arrangements relating to the continuance of the service qualification for Chevrons for war service. In the Navy, Army, Air Force and Merchant Navy, anywhere, full time service after the 8th May, 1945, the date of the end of active hostilities in Europe and up to the end of active hostilities in the Pacific will continue to be a qualification for Chevrons. In Civil Defence services Chevrons will no longer be earned after the 8th May, 1945, except in the Pacific area. There, such service in territories subjected to aerial bombardment or closely threatened will continue to qualify for Chevrons. Part-time military service in the Pacific, but not elsewhere, will continue to be reckoned towards the award of Chevrons until the end of active hostilities in the Pacific area. In some instances, part-time service in the Forces or Civil Defence service will cease to qualify before the 8th May, 1945. This has been the case in, for instance, the United Kingdom Home Guard.

APPENDIX

The following civilian services in the United Kingdom eligible for Chevrons for war service are among the categories eligible for the Defence Medal :

(a) Civil Defence services established by a Government Department or Local Authority: - Wardens Service (including Shelter Wardens).

Rescue Service (including former First-Aid Party Service). Decontamination Service.

Report and Control Service.

Messenger Service.

Ambulance Service (including Sitting Case Cars).

First-Aid Service (including First-Aid Posts and Points, Public Cleansing Centres, Mobile Cleansing Units and the Nursing Service for public air-raid shelters).

(b) Local Authority Civil Defence Services: - Rest Centre Service.

Emergency Food Service (including Queen's Messenger Convoy Service).

Canteen Service.

Emergency Information Service.

Mortuary Service.

(c )National Fire Service (including service in a local authority Fire Brigade or the Auxiliary Fire Service prior to nationalisation).

(d) Police, Royal Marine Police Special Reserve, Admiralty Civil Police, War Department Constabulary, Air Ministry Constabulary, Railway and Dock Police.

(e) American Ambulance, Great Britain.

(f) Civil Air Transport.

(g) Civil Defence Reserve, Kent County Civil Defence Mobile Reserve and West Sussex County Civil Defence Mobile Reserve.

(h) Civil Nursing Reserve.

(i) Civilian Technical Corps.

(j) Coast Guard.

(k) Fire Guards performing duties under the local authorities, or at Government or business premises.

(l) Lighthouse keepers serving under the three Lighthouse authorities, and keepers of Light-Vessels under those authorities, who do not qualify for the 1939-45 Star.

(m) Nurses in hospitals for which Government Departments or local authorities are responsible, or in the recognised Voluntary hospitals.

(n) Port of London Authority River Emergency Service. Clyde River Patrol.

(o) Royal Observer Corps.

(p) Women's Voluntary Services for Civil Defence. (Members of the W.V.S. may qualify if (a) they are enrolled in an eligible local authority Civil Defence Service, (b) they perform duties analogous to those of one of the eligible local authority Civil Defence Services and the section of the W.V.S. to which they belong is one which functions operationally during or immediately after enemy attacks.)

Edited by Rayjin
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Many were earned by Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and Indians for service overseas, or in areas threatened by the enemy. This meant among others, the U.K., the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Persia, Syria).

I have a Discharge certificate to a man who earned it for serving in his home country - Newfoundland. How? He joined the Canadian Army. Before 1949 Newfoundland was a British Colony, and therefore "overseas service".

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Mervyn has already explained about those South Africans in North Africa who qualified for the Defence Medal. Many were in camp near Cairo and saw no action, but they were in an area subject to enemy air attack, so qualified that way. South Africans who served only in Ethiopia did not qualify and neither did those who served only in Italy. Some of these men added unnamed Defence Medals to their groups in the mistaken belief that they had earned it.

Other South Africans with the Defence Medal in their groups were those who qualified through secondment to British forces. They were mainly naval men seconded to the Royal Navy, but there were also some airmen and army soldiers. I was told by a naval historian that those men seconded to the RN who did not get the Defence Medal usually had more active wars than those who did qualify. The reason for this is that the seconded men had to spend the 18 months qualifying period in onshore in Britain, whereas those without the Defence Medal were at sea and on 'active service' instead. Some of these seamen also added unnamed Defence Medals to their groups.

Regards

Brett

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Many were earned by Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and Indians for service overseas, or in areas threatened by the enemy. This meant among others, the U.K., the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Persia, Syria).

I have a Discharge certificate to a man who earned it for serving in his home country - Newfoundland. How? He joined the Canadian Army. Before 1949 Newfoundland was a British Colony, and therefore "overseas service".

really??

WOW!!! I thought I knew pretty much everything about this medal. It was one of the first i ever got and I love its design.

Can we see the docs?

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