Canadian Volunteer Service Medal

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Canadian Volunteer Service Medal

Canadian Volunteer Service Medal.gif

Ribbon bar of the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal
Obverse of the medal and ribbon
Awarded by Canada

Overseas Service
Hong Kong

Bomber Command
Established October 22, 1943[1]
Total awarded 650,000 medals
525,000 bars.
Next (higher) Defence Medal[2]
Equivalent Newfoundland Volunteer War Service Medal
Next (lower) War Medal[2]

The Canadian Volunteer Service Medal is granted to persons of any rank in the Naval, Military or Air Forces of Canada who voluntarily served on Active Service from September 3, 1939 to March 1, 1947. The medal was established on October 22, 1943.[1]


Members of the Naval, Military or Air Forces of Canada are eligible for this medal if they voluntarily served on Active Service and honourably completed eighteen months (540 days) total service from September 3, 1939 to March 1, 1947.[1]

On March 14, 2001, the Governor General extended the eligibility to individuals who served, but not as members of the military forces. Those granted eligibility were Canadian World War II merchant mariners; Auxiliary Services personnel, engaged and paid by the Canadian Legion, Knights of Columbus, Salvation Army and the YMCA; The Corps of Canadian (Civilian) Fire Fighters who served in the United Kingdom and helped fight the fires during the Blitz; Overseas Welfare Workers and the Voluntary Aid Detachments; Ferry Command pilots and aircrew under contract to deliver aircraft from North America; and British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Instructors.[3]

On June 6, 2003, eligibility to the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal was extended to members and reserve constables of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who voluntarily served during the Second World War.[1]


Overseas Bar

A silver bar with a maple leaf at its centre is awarded for 60 days service outside Canada; Newfoundland counted as outside Canada. A silver maple leaf is worn on the ribbon in undress.[1]

Dieppe Bar

The Dieppe Bar is awarded to those who participated in the Dieppe Raid on August 19, 1942. The bar bears the word DIEPPE in relief on a pebbled background, on top of the bars is an anchor surmounted by an eagle and a Thompson sub-machine gun.[4]

Hong Kong Bar

The Hong Kong Bar is awarded to those involved in the Battle of Hong Kong during the period 0f December 8—25, 1941.[5]

Bomber Command Bar

The Bomber Command Bar was announced to honour those who served in Bomber Command during World War II by Minister of Veterans Affairs Steven Blaney and National Defence Minister Peter MacKay on June 25, 2012.[6] This bar is awarded for minimum one day service with Bomber Command.[7] On April 15, 2013 the design of the bar was unveiled. The bar is silver with a depiction of a four engined World War II era bomber in the center, superimposed on a pebbled back ground.[8] The first bars were presented on August 26, 2013 by Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino in a ceremony at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. Bomber Command Veterans, their families, and families of deceased veterans entitled to the bar were in attendance.[9]


The medal is circular, made of silver (.925 fine silver), 1.42 inches (36 mm) in diameter. The obverse depicts seven marching figures, representing men and women of the army, air force, navy and nursing service. Around the rim is the inscription 1939 CANADA 1945 VOLUNTARY SERVICE VOLONTAIRE. The reverse shows the coat of arms of Canada.

The medal is linked to a straight suspender by a small ring passing through a small fixed ring at the top of the medal. It is suspended from a 1.25 inches (32 mm) wide with a royal blue centre 0.5 inches (13 mm) flanked by two equal stripes of scarlet and dark green, the dark green being on the edges. The ribbon was issued during the war; the medal after the war.


There were 1,183,000 eligible, with 650,000 medals and 525,500 bars awarded.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Canadian Volunteer Service Medal". Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Campaign Stars and Medals (1939-1954)". Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Order Amending the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal Order". Canada Gazette. 135, No. 6. March 14, 2001. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Dieppe Bar". Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Hong Kong Bar". Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Harper Government Announces Intention to Create New Honour to Recognize Canadian Veterans of Bomber Command". Veterans Affairs Canada. June 25, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ Gerster, Jane (August 26, 2013). "Canada’s WWII bombers honoured at last, nearly 70 years later". The Star. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Bomber Command Bar". Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Government of Canada Presents First Bomber Command Bars". Veterans Affairs Canada. August 26, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.