The 1939-1945 Star Medal, awarded to British Forces serving overseas during WWII. The 1939-45 Star Medal was introduced to reward the service of forces who served at least 180 days operational service overseas during WWII. Specifically, the 180 days must have been spent between the dates of 3rd September, 1939, and 8th May, 1945 (2nd September if spent in Far East). There are also some cases of special circumstances, where the medal was awarded for a single day’s service. The medal features the Royal cypher “GRI VI” on the front, supported by the text “THE 1939-1945 STAR” below, and the crown above. The ribbon displays equal stripes of red, light and dark blue, to represent the different arms of the armed forces.
The France and Germany Star is a military campaign medal, instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945 for award to British Commonwealth forces who entered into active service in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands or Germany (and adjacent sea areas) between 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945, during the Second World War. The Allies launched their campaign in North West Europe on ‘D-Day’, 6 June 1944, when British, American and Canadian forces landed on the beaches of Northern France. Over the following eleven months, these forces advanced across Western Europe while the Soviet Red Army advanced towards Berlin from the East, Germany finally surrendering on 8 May 1945. The France and Germany Star was instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945, for award to those who had served in operations on land or in the air in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland or Germany from 6 June 1944 until the end of active hostilities in Europe on 8 May 1945, as well as for Naval and Merchant Navy service directly in support of these land operations. The obverse has a central design of the Royal Cypher “GRI VI”, surmounted by a crown. A circlet, the top of which is covered by the crown, surrounds the cypher and is inscribed “THE FRANCE AND GERMANY STAR”. The reverse is plain.
The Defence Medal is a campaign medal instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945, to be awarded to citizens of the British Commonwealth for both non-operational military and certain types of civilian war service during the Second World War. The duration of the Second World War in Europe was from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, while in the Pacific Theatre it continued until 2 September 1945. The Defence Medal was instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945, to be awarded to British military and civilian personnel for a range of services in the United Kingdom, and to Commonwealth and British Colonial personnel who served from or outside their home countries in a non-operational area or in an area subject to threat, such as attacks from the air. In the United Kingdom, those eligible included military personnel working in headquarters, on training bases and airfields for the duration of the War in Europe from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, and service by members of the Home Guard during its existence from 14 May 1940 to 31 December 1944. The medal was also awarded for non-operational service overseas in the Dominions of the Commonwealth and in British Colonies. Those who qualified for one or more Campaign Star could also be awarded the Defence Medal. Eligible civilian service in the United Kingdom included, but was not confined to, civilian services whose members were eligible for Chevrons for war service. The following civilian organisations also received this medal such as the 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, Local Authority Civil Defence Services, Rest Centre Service, Emergency Food Service, including the Queen’s Messenger Convoy Service, Canteen Service, Emergency Information Service, Mortuary Service, National Fire Service, including service in a local authority Fire Brigade or the Auxiliary Fire Service prior to nationalisation, The Police including Special Constabulary (with 3 years’ service), Royal Marine Police Special Reserve, Admiralty Civil Police, War Department Constabulary, Air Ministry Constabulary, Railway Police and Dock Police, American Ambulance, Great Britain, Civil Air Transport, Civil Defence Reserve, Kent County Civil Defence Mobile Reserve and West Sussex County Civil Defence Mobile Reserve, Civil Nursing Reserve, Civilian Technical Corps, HM Coastguard, Fire Guards who performed duties under the local authorities, or at Government or business premises, Lighthouse keepers who served under the three Lighthouse Authorities and keepers of Light-Vessels under those authorities, who did not qualify for the 1939–1945 Star, Nurses in hospitals for which Government Departments or Local Authorities were responsible, or in the recognised voluntary hospitals, Port of London Authority River Emergency Service, Clyde River Patrol, Royal Observer Corps, Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence, whose members could qualify provided they were enrolled in an eligible local authority Civil Defence Service; those who performed duties analogous to those of one of the eligible local authority Civil Defence Services, and the section of the Women’s Voluntary Services to which they belonged was one which functioned operationally during or immediately after enemy attacks. The obverse, designed by Humphrey Paget, shows the bareheaded effigy of King George VI, facing left. Around the perimeter is the legend “GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX F:D:IND:IMP.” (George 6th, by the grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India). The reverse, designed by Harold Parker, shows the Royal Crown resting on an oak sapling, flanked by a lion and a lioness above stylised waves. At the top left is the year “1939” and at the top right the year “1945”. The exergue has the words “THE DEFENCE MEDAL” in two lines.
The War Medal 1939–1945 is a campaign medal which was instituted by the United Kingdom on 16th August 1945, for award to citizens of the British Commonwealth who had served full-time in the Armed Forces or the Merchant Navy for at least 28 days between 3rd September 1939 and 2nd September 1945. The qualification requirement for the award of the War Medal 1939–1945 to full-time military personnel was 28 days of service, wherever rendered. Qualifying service in the Merchant Navy was 28 days of service anywhere at sea during the qualifying period. Foreign citizens commissioned or enlisted into British Forces, who did not receive a similar award to the War Medal 1939–1945 from their own Governments, were also eligible to qualify for the award of this medal. The Obverse features the Head of King George VI whilst the reverse features a British Lion standing on the Slain Body of a Double-Headed Dragon meaning the Defeated Occidental and Oriental Enemies (Despite China Being an Ally of the UK).