War Medal 1939–1945
|War Medal 1939–45|
Obverse (top left) and reverse (top right) of the medal. Ribbon: 32mm, narrow red stripe in centre, with a narrow white stripe on either side, broad red stripes at either edge and two intervening stripes of blue.
|Awarded by UK and Commonwealth|
|Eligibility||British and Commonwealth forces.|
|Awarded for||Campaign service.|
|Campaign||Second World War 1939–45.|
|Description||Cupro-nickel or silver disk, 36mm diameter.|
|Clasps||Single oak leaf emblem for MID|
|Established||16 August 1945|
Ribbon with bronze oak leaf for Mentioned in Dispatches
The War Medal 1939–1945 was a British decoration awarded to those who had served in the Armed Forces or Merchant Navy full-time for at least 28 days between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. In the Merchant Navy, the 28 days must have been served at sea. It is sometimes described as the "Victory Medal" for World War II, although that is not its correct name.
- A circular silver (.800 fine) medal, 36mm in diameter. The British issue medals were made of cupro-nickel.
- The obverse shows the crowned coinage effigy of King George VI, facing left, and the legend GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX ET INDIAE:IMP.
- The reverse shows a lion standing on the body of a double-headed dragon. The dragon's heads are those of an eagle and a dragon to signify the principal occidental and oriental enemies. At the top, just right of centre are the dates 1939/1945 in two lines.
- The ribbon is 1.25 inches wide and consists of 7 coloured stripes: red, dark blue, white, narrow red (centre), white, dark blue, and red, representing the colours of the Union Flag
- The medals were issued unnamed; except those awarded to personnel of the Canadian Merchant Marine, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who served only on the RCMP schooner St. Roch, the Royal Indian Army, South African and Australian forces, which were named on the rim.
- The medal was designed by Edward Carter Preston.
- A single bronze oak leaf emblem is worn to signify a Mention in Despatches and a silver oak leaf is worn to signify an award of a King's Commendation for Brave Conduct. There is no bar other than these emblems.
- Ministry of Defence: Medal FAQs
- Crompton, Ann, Edward Carter Preston 1885 - 1965, (Liverpool): University of Liverpool Art Gallery, 1999, ISBN 0-85323-792-1
- UK MoD site
- ADF Honours and Awards
- Records of WW2 Medals issued to Merchant Seamen from The National Archives.
- Stephen Stratford Medals site
- Veterans Affairs Canada site
- NZDF Medals site
- Defence Medal Regulations from NZDF site