Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

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Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Awarded by United Kingdom
Type Long Service
Eligibility 15 years service (12 for officers who meet criteria)
Awarded for Long Service and Good Conduct
Status Currently issued
Statistics
Established 1830 (Army)
1831 (Navy)
1919 (Air Force)
Related Meritorious Service Medal
Cadet Forces Medal
Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (UK) ribbon.PNG
Army ribbon
Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (UK) ribbon.png
Naval ribbon
Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.PNG
Air Force ribbon

The Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (LS&GCM) is a medal awarded by the British Government to members of the British Armed Forces who have completed 15 years of reckonable service.

British Army[edit]

EIIR Army LS&GC Medal (obverse)
EIIR Army LS&GC Medal (reverse)

The Army Long Service and Good Conduct medal was instituted in 1830. The medal is made from silver and is 36 millimetres in diameter. Until 1901 the medal's obverse contained an image of a trophy of arms with the Royal Arms in an oval shield in the centre while the reverse side contained the inscription "For Long Service and Good Conduct". The King William IV issue had the Royal Coat of Arms with the badge of Hanover on the obverse and a small suspension ring with a plain crimson ribbon. The small ring was replaced by a larger version in 1831. When Queen Victoria succeeded to the throne in 1837 the Hanover emblem was removed from the medal's obverse. In 1855, during the Crimean War, a swivelling scroll suspension was introduced similar to that on the Crimea Medal, followed in 1874 by small lettering replacing the original large lettering on the reverse side.[1]

On the succession of King Edward VII to the throne in 1901, the effigy of the reigning sovereign was placed on the medal's obverse. The reverse side remained unchanged, while in 1920 the swivelling scroll suspension was replaced by a fixed suspender.

In 1930 the title of the medal was changed to the Long Service and Good Conduct (Military) Medal. It was also decided to add a fixed suspension bar bearing the text "Regular Army" or the name of a dominion country: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India or South Africa.[2]

The medal was originally awarded to soldiers of good conduct who had completed 21 years service in the infantry or 24 years in the cavalry. In 1870, this qualifying period was reduced to 18 years for both the infantry and cavalry. During World War II officers could also be awarded this medal if they had completed at least 12 of their 18 years service in the ranks.

Today, the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (Army) is awarded to members of the British Army who have completed 15 years of reckonable service. A soldier who completes 15 years of reckonable service from the date of attestation or age 17½, whichever is later, shall be eligible to receive the medal. However, there are a number of offences which would normally preclude award of the LS&GCM. Awards are only made after a thorough check of a soldier's record of service.[3]

A Clasp to the medal was introduced in 1940. This can be awarded for an additional fifteen years' service. The Clasp bears an image of the Army Crest. When the ribbon alone is worn on a uniform a silver rosette denotes the award of the Clasp. The medal's ribbon was plain crimson from 1830 until 1917 when white stripes were added to both edges.[3]

An officer can be considered eligible for the award of the LS&GCM if 12 or more of the 15 years of his or her service have been in the ranks and provided that the other requirements for the award of the medal have been met. An Officer shall be eligible for the award of the Clasp if 22 or more of the 30 years of his or her service has been in the ranks and provided that the other requirements have again been met.[3]

Before 1 December 1977 18 years of service was required for consideration for the LS&GCM (Army). The vast majority of LS&GC medals are issued named to the recipient, with the name on the rim around the medal.

Royal Navy[edit]

Reverse of the Navy LS&GC Medal (second type of 1848)

The Royal Navy Long Service & Good Conduct Medal was introduced on 24 August 1831. It is silver and circular in shape. The medal of 1831 had on its obverse side an anchor surmounted by a crown and enclosed in an oak wreath. The medal's reverse side was engraved with the recipient's details.[1]

The silver medal has changed dimensions and ribbon colour twice during its period of issue. The original medal of 1831 was 34mm in diameter and was suspended from a ring by a dark blue ribbon. In 1848 the medal became 36mm in diameter with a dark blue ribbon with white edges. A narrow suspender was introduced in 1874.

Today, the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (Navy) is based on the pattern of 1848. The obverse of the medal shows the effigy of the reigning monarch, while the reverse shows the image of a three-masted man-of-war surrounded by a rope tied at the foot with a reef knot with the words 'For Long service and Good Conduct' around the circumference. An Other Rank who completes 15 years of reckonable service from the date of attestation or age 17½, whichever is later, and who holds all three good conduct badges, shall be eligible to receive the medal. However, there are a number of offences which would normally preclude award of the LS&GCM. Awards are only made after a thorough check of a sailor's record of service.[4]

A Clasp to the medal was introduced during the reign of King George V and can be awarded for an additional fifteen year's service. The Clasp bears a laurel leaf design. When the ribbon alone is worn, a silver rosette denotes award of the Clasp. The medals' ribbon is dark blue flanked at the edges by narrow stripes of white.[4]

Since March 1981 officers have become eligible for the award of the LS&GCM if 12 or more of the 15 years of his or her service have been in the ranks and provided that the other requirements for the award of the medal have been met.[1] An officer shall be eligible for the award of the clasp if 22 or more of the 30 years of his or her service have been in the ranks and provided that the other requirements have again been met.[4]

Royal Air Force[edit]

Obverse of the RAF LS&GC Medal
Reverse of the RAF LS&GC Medal

The Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (RAF) was introduced on 1 July 1919. The medal was originally made from silver, although later issues have been made from a silver-plated base metal.[1] The obverse of the medal shows the effigy of the reigning monarch. There have been a total of 5 different obverse designs for this medal, GV (1), GVI (2), EII (2). The reverse design has always remained constant and bears the image of the Royal Air Force eagle with outstretched wings surmounted by a Crown with the words 'For Long service and Good Conduct' around the circumference.[5]

An airman who completes 15 years of reckonable service from the date of attestation or age 17½, whichever is later, shall be eligible to receive the medal. However, there are a number of offences which would normally preclude award of the LS&GCM. Awards are only made after a thorough check of an airman's record of service.[5]

From 1944 Clasps to the medal were issued for successfully completed additional periods of either 18 or 15 years. Prior to 1945, conduct considered to be below the required standard could still count towards the required total if the airman had performed excellent conduct or gallantry before an enemy or some other crisis. Prior to 1944 up to 4 years of the required total could have been earned in either the Royal Navy or Army before the serviceman had transferred to the Royal Air Force.[1] The Clasp bears the image of an eagle with outstretched wings surmounted by the Crown. When the ribbon alone is worn, a silver rosette denotes the award of the Clasp. The medal's ribbon is composed of equally sized central stripes of maroon and dark blue flanked at the edges by narrow stripes of white.[5]

Since 1947 RAF Officers could be awarded this medal if 12 or more of the 15 years of his or her service have been in the ranks and provided that the other requirements for the award of the medal have been met. An officer shall be eligible for the award of the Clasp if 22 or more of the 30 years of his or her service has been in the ranks and provided that the other requirements have again been met.[5]

Before 1 December 1977 18 years of service was required for consideration for the LS&GCM (RAF).

Notable recipients of the LS&GC Medal[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]