Distinctions for War Service (1939 - 1945)

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by dbf, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    See this linked thread for a fuller explanation of campaign medals, with examples and illustrations...http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/51086-ww2-campaign-stars-medals-info-thread/

    From The Times, May 19, 1945:

  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    In light of another thread, I found this statement particularly interesting:
    Medal claim/index card thread
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    That took some reading...Good to see you are still trawling The Times Diane :)

    Interesting there is no mention of the war before The Battle of Britain and there is a special mention for those who fought in the Battle of Britain and they get a rose for their ribbon.

    His Majesty has also instituted a gilt rose emblem to be worn on the ribbon of the 1939-45 Star for air crew of the fighter aircraft engaged in the Battle of Britain between July 1 and October 31, 1940. (Loud cheers.)

    This was quite interesting too:
    He also considered that there should be certain appointed days - days of celebration and holidays - when persons entitled to do so should wear their medals on their civilian clothes. "We must never forget," he said, "that these medals are the poor man's escutcheon."

    I wonder if they were considering an actual 'holiday' for WW2 and one for WW1.
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Another of your super posts.

    The commons reporting makes excellent reading.

  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From The Times, June 26, 1943:




    The King has decided to issue in the near future, a Star to be known as the Africa Star to the victors of North Africa. A second Star, the 1939-43 Star, will go to all services who have fought in other theatres.

    These decisions were announced last night by the King in a message to General Dwight Eisenhower, Commander-in-Chief, North Africa, which was dispatched within 12 hours of the King's return to Britain from visiting his victorious troops in the Mediterranean zone.


    The King's message to General Eisenhower was:-

    Will you kindly convey the following message to the three British Commanders-in-Chief and to the British Forces under your command:-

    During the long years of the North African campaign - with its fluctuating fortunes - it was my constant hope that I might one day be able to come and see for myself the scenes of some of the famous and hard-fought battles - and, still more, those who had taken part in them. My wish has now been gratified, and it has been my happy experience to be the bearer of the congratulations of all the peoples of the Empire on a victory which will shine in military history.

    This victory I have decided to commemorate by the issue, in the near future, of a Star to be known as the Africa Star, while another, to be known as the 1939-43 Star, will be the reward of those in all my Services who have taken part in hard fighting in other theatres of war.

    Throughout my tour it afforded me intense pleasure to see the war-hardened men of the three British Services, the veterans of the Libyan deserts as well as their comrades from the West, in such high spirits and good health, and to realized that they are working in the closest harmony, not only with each other, but with the Forces of our allies, both in and out of battle.


    Moreover, everything that I saw when I was privileged to be the guest of our United States and French allies served only to strengthen my confidence in the complete and final victory of the United Nations.

    Heavy tasks still lie before the armies of North Africa, but it is plain to me that nothing will stop the gallant men of the United Nations who have already triumphed over so much. To these men, and to their skilful commanders, I would ask you to express my heartfelt good wishes for the future.

    GEORGE, R.I.

    The new decorations are the first to be instituted since the British Empire Medal took the place, in April, 1941, of the medal of the Order of the British Empire, which was abolished when the George Cross was instituted. The George Cross was instituted on September 23, 1940, when the King announced that he proposed to give his name to the Cross, ranking next to the Victoria Cross; and to the George Medal, for wider distribution to reward the performance of deeds of valour by civilians, men and women, in all walks of life. It has a military division.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I think the key to this bit is in bold:

    Similarly, troops who have been evacuated - eg from Dunkirk, Norway, &c. - will be eligible for the star, although their operational service may be under six months. The list of exceptions is under consideration. Similar treatment will be accorded to Naval, Air, and Merchant Navy personnel who co-operated with the Army on those operations.
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From The Times, August 4, 1943



    The Prime Minister gave some particulars in the House of Commons yesterday of the King's decision to commemorate the expulsion of the enemy from North Africa, and to recognize services rendered in operations during the first four years of the war, by the institution of two awards, the Africa Star and the 1939-43 Star, for the armed forces and merchant navies of the Empire and for the allied nationals in British forces except where enlisted or commissioned as members of allied forces.

    The stars will not be manufactured until after the war, but ribbons are to be made now for issue as soon as supplies are ready.

    Nobody will qualify for both stars.* The Africa Star will be granted for service in North Africa from June 10, 1940 (when Italy entered the war), to May 12, 1943, inclusive, when operations against the enemy in North Africa ceased. The ribbon is pale buff in colour - symbolic of the desert - with a central vertical red stripe that stands for the armies, a narrower dark blue stripe for the naval forces and the merchant navies, and a light blue stripe for the air forces. It will be worn with the dark blue strip farthest from the left shoulder.


    Awards of a clasp to the Africa Star for the Army will be restricted to service in the Eighth and First Armies from October 23, 1942, the date of the Battle of El Alamein, to May 12, 1943, inclusive. A silver emblem in the form of an "8" or "1", denoting the award, will be worn on the ribbon on service dress. A clasp, to be denoted by the standard silver rose emblem, will be awarded to Air Force personnel who operated in support of the Eighth and First Armies or in the defence of Malta during the same period. In the Navy only those, if any, who served as part of the Eighth or First Armies on shore or in harbour will received the clasp. The award to members of the Merchant Navy will be restricted to those serving in vessels which worked inshore during the campaign.

    The 1939-43 Star will be granted for service in operations from September 3, 1939, to December 31, 1943. The ribbon is dark blue, red, and light blue in three equal vertical stripes, and this is to be worn with the dark blue stripe farthest from the left shoulder. Qualifications for this star in the Navy will be six months' service afloat in areas of active operations; for the Merchant Navy a similar period afloat, with at least one voyage through an area of active operations; for the Army, six months in an operational command; and in the Air Force, for air crews two months in an operational unit against the enemy, and for non-crew personnel six months.

    In all cases operational service for less than six or two months respectively, brough to an end by death, wounds, or other disability due to service will qualify for the 1939-43 Star. Similarly, troops who have been evacuated - eg from Dunkirk, Norway, &c. - will be eligible for the star, although their operational service may be under six months. The list of exceptions is under consideration. Similar treatment will be accorded to Naval, Air, and Merchant Navy personnel who co-operated with the Army on those operations.

    The clasp to the 1939-45 Star will be denoted by a silver rose emblem, of the standard pattern, and will be confined to the Navy, for specified North African service from October 23, 1942, to May 12, 1943.

    The King has also approved an emblem to denote mentions in dispatches, and wound stripes and chevrons for war service. Production of these may take some months. The dispatches emblem is in bronze, of a new pattern in the form of an oak leaf, and is to be worn on the coat immediately after the medal ribbons. The wound stripes of gold braid and chevrons of red will be awarded not only in the armed forces but also in the Merchant Navy, Civil Air Transport, police, the National Fire Service, specified civil defence services, the Fire Guard, and by nurses in Government or local authority hospitals, or in recognized voluntary hospitals.

    Particulars are given in a White Paper [Cmd. 6463, price 1d.] issued yesterday, and obtainable at the Stationery Office or through any bookseller.

    * See article in first post for change to this.
  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From The Times, March 23, 1944:




    Mr. Churchill, who gave the House of Commons to-day his views on the award of war medals and decorations, suggested that after the war there would very likely be a United Nations or Allied war medal of the widest possible application, in addition to a Victory Medal. He said the Government could not consent to widen the award of the 1939-43 Star to include all who took part in the Battle of Britain. The institution of a third Star for service in this country was being examined. Sir A. Sinclair announced the list of the special operations participation in which qualified for the 1939-43 Star.

    Mr. Churchill said the object of giving medals, stars, and ribbons was to give pride and pleasure to those who had deserved them. At the same time, a distinction was something which everybody did not possess; if all had it it was of less value. There must, therefore, be heartburnings and disappointments on the borderline. A medal glittered, but it also cast a shadow. The task of drawing up regulations for such awards was one which did not admit of a perfect solution. It was not possible to satisfy everybody without running the risk of satisfying nobody. All that was possible to give satisfaction to the greatest number, and to hurt the feelings of the fewest. But that was a most difficult task.

    One must be careful in the first place to avoid profusion. The tendency to expand - inflate, dilute the currency - through generous motives was very strong. When the Order of the Golden Fleece was founded its first motto was "I will have no other" (autre n'aurai). But this proved too austere an ordinance for the emperors, kings, and heroes concerned, and the motto was very rapidly changed to a much less self-denying and non-committal form, "I have accepted it" (Je l'ai empris). (Laughter.)

    The German distinctions had usually been very lavishly bestowed. When Voltaire was invited to visit the Prussian court he stipulated that all expenses should be paid and that the Order of Merit should be thrown in. (Laughter.) There were, before 1914, very many German medals and orders. Nevertheless, during the last war the Germans created about 80 different crosses, medals and decorations, and about 20 distinctive badges of similar character. At the start of the last war the Iron Cross was a highly prized decoration, but by 1918 it had been granted so freely that it was little valued except, he believed, by Hitler, who it was alleged gave it to himself some time later. (Laughter.) After the Armistice the Germans, who were a most adaptive people, manufactured large numbers of Iron Crosses for sale to the French troops as souvenirs. In the present war they had already some 15 new medals and 29 new distinctive badges. They had not yet reached the stage of manufacturing them for sale to the allies. (Laughter.)

    The French, in the last war, were wiser than the Germans, but even they were inclined to err slightly too much on the side of generosity. When, after the termination of hostilities, they instituted a war medal for the troops they got drawn beyond the line which limited it to the armed forces. It was granted, for instance, to hospital staffs generally, and then to the police, park keepers, custom officers, and so on. The result was that, very soon after the war, it was impossible to tell whether an individual had actually fought in the real fighting zones or not, and then years later the French found it necessary, under the pressure of the ex-service men, to reopen the whole question and create a distinction called the Croix de Combattants.

    A similar process, though much more dignified, sedate, and tardy, took place in this country after the Napoleonic wars, but it was not until 1851 that the services rendered between 1793 and 1814 by the veterans who still survived were recognized. (Laughter.) Queen Victoria took a great interest in this, and the Duke of Richmond, who led the public agitation, was given by the grateful recipients of the long over-due awards, plate worth about 1,500 guineas. He hoped that this example would encourage hon. members in their zeal and activities in this matter, and that this hope might assuage any temporary dissatisfaction they might find in the announcements he had to make.

    It would have been much easier (Mr. Churchill continued) to leave all this matter over on one side until more leisurely times have come. (Cheers.) On the other hand, this war has now raged for 54 months. Many famous campaigns have been fought, several have been brought to a successful conclusion. Devoted, valiant service has been rendered in many parts of the world on land, on the sea, in the air. Several million soldiers, sailors, and airmen have been sent abroad where they have remained for long periods enduring severe hardships, rendering faithful service and achieving splendid results. (Cheers.)

    THE 1939-45 STAR
    They greatly value the distinction which a ribbon gives them. I know of the satisfaction which has been given to the whole battalions of troops which have been authorized to mount the Africa ribbon or the 1939-43 ribbon, and I felt myself bound to try to attempt at any rate a partial solution of the problem which I could submit to his Majesty, with whom these matters rest, subject to advice. Accordingly the Committee on the Grant of Honours, on which all services are represented, was directed in March last year to frame regulations governing the grant of the Africa Star - this was to commemorate the expulsion of the enemy from the African continent - and also a 1939-43 Star, with a different ribbon, covering service in other theatres of war, including of course, the oceans and the air. The Africa Star has already been awarded to 1,500,000 officers and men, and the 1939-43 Star to 1,600,000 officers and men, a total of 3,100,000 of our warriors in all spheres, and, with the other cases now under consideration, I am told the two ribbons together may ultimately cover nearly 4,000,000 men.

    In considering the qualifications for the grant of the 1939-43 Star the question arose of what period of service would be required. Some forms of service are measured by time and others by the episode itself. (Cheers.) We have adopted both conditions. Six months is taken as the qualifying period of time, but in special operations in which individual combatants would not have the opportunity of serving for six months, actual presence with the forces will be sufficient. Naturally, in drawing up a list of such episodes, it was necessary to consult the Dominion and Indian Governments. The final list is now complete, and will be made public immediately.

    Additions can be made to this list in accordance with well-informed opinion. I am very anxious that service opinion should fix and focus on these different points, and that we should profit by it as were get to hear of it - (cheers) - so that one can make submissions to the Crown in respect of these matters, for this is a royal prerogative. I hope that even the present form may meet some of the many questions which are asked about this episodic aspect of the qualifications for the 1939-43 Star.

    Among the naval forces who served for a long time afloat and ashore in the Mediterranean, and played a vital part in those victories by cutting off the German reinforcements - (cheers) - there has been, I am told, a discernible preference shown for the Africa Star as against the 1939-43 Star, and the suggestion has been made that an officer or man whose service qualifies him for either award should be permitted to choose one or the other. I am advised that such an option would be very difficult to work. It might also seem to reflect upon the 1939-43 Star - (hear, hear) - if people who, on account of local associations, chose the Africa ribbon instead of the general service ribbon, which must be considered as the primary ribbon, the senior ribbon. I am still studying this question.

    The same question occurs in the case of those who served both in the First and Eighth Armies, where there is an emblem. I have not finally closed the discussion of this difficult problem. I would like to see, in all these subjects, how opinion shapes. One thing is clear, however, that no one can have both stars or both ribbons, nor can they have both the two emblems, 1 and 8. To this last thing there is one exception. His Majesty has approved of both the emblems 1 and 8 being mounted on the ribbons of General Eisenhower and General Alexander, these being the only two officers who did in fact command the whole of the First and Eighth Armies. (Cheers.)

    Two other forms of reward of merit have been approved. First, there is the King's Badge, about which a discussion is promised. The issue of the King's Badge is at present restricted to those invalided from the naval, military, and air forces and the merchant navy and fishing fleet through wounds or war disablement attributed to service since September 3, 1939. The question has arisen, Should it not be extended to those discharged through disability not due to service? Against this it may be urged that a considerable number of those eager to join the fighting forces have to be rejected on medical grounds, and it would be argued that those whose disabilities escaped notice until after they had been enlisted ought not to have an advantage over those rejected at the outset.

    Under national service all men and women in this country are doing the work which readers best service to our nation. All forms of faithful service are honourable, but we do not propose at present to extend the King's Badge beyond those whose disabilities are attributable to their service. The matter must, however, be considered in conjunction with chevrons. The only ex-soldiers who will not be able shortly to wear any token of their service will be those who have not qualified for either the Africa Star or the 1939-43 Star, and who were discharged for non-attributable reasons with less than one year's war-time service, and these may be eligible in due course for any awards which may be granted later in respect of military service, such as a general medal.

    But every one except those I have specified who do not qualify for either of the stars or who were discharged for non-attributable reasons and who have less than one year's service - only those will not have some record of their connexion with our armed forces, be it by chevrons or some other forms. Even greater complications will arise if men and women invalided from the civil defence general services, including the National Fire Service, were made eligible for the badge. There is no fixed minimum medical standard for discharge, and there are those who have been discharged on account of reduction.

    I can, however, announce to-day that the official chevrons for war service are to be extended to certain further civil defence organizations, including the rest centres, the emergency food (including the Queen's Messenger Convoy) service, the canteen, the emergency information and the mortuary services, which have been up to the present excluded. (Cheers.) We are also on the point of expanding the chevron scheme so that some 227,000 additional members of the Women's Voluntary Services engaged in Civil Defence will also be eligible.

    Medals are struck at the end of wars, and stars are given for particular episodes or periods during their course. The manufacture of medals or stars during the war cannot possibly be undertaken, and therefore, all that we can do is to issue ribbons. Apart from the right to wear particular ribbons, certain emblems have been approved under conditions set forth in the White Paper. These emblems are a very highly prized feature of these awards. There are the Arabic numerals 1 and 8 for service in the First and Eighth Armies which played the main part in liberating North Africa, and which are valid from the period of the Battle of El Alamein, in October - perhaps, I am not sure, from the final repulse of Rommel in the month before, I may be in error as to which - and who served from that period to the complete surrender or destruction of all the German and Italian forces, upwards of 300,000 prisoners being taken, in Tunis in May. There is also the Silver Rose, which is worn as a special emblem for the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force with the 1939-43 ribbon.

    Those emblems, of which there can only be a few, can be worn on their respective ribbons. They are undoubtedly a super distinction, and are intended to be so. It will not be physically possible to add to them indefinitely, because there is no more room on the little slip of ribbon for a multiplicity of emblems without producing a confused impression.

    The question of clasps, or bars as they are sometimes in my opinion miscalled, on little ribbons will not come up till after the war. Then, when all events can be seen in their true perspective and proportion, it must be carefully considered. After the last war a large number of clasps was provisionally approved, but it was found impossible to make a general issue of them on account of the great number earned by individuals and of the vast number of persons whose claims had to be examined. This would have entailed enormous staffs at a time when, among many difficulties, the need for economy was considered to be important.

    I do not know what will happen after this war, when, of course, we are all going to be so rich - (cheers and laughter) - or we hope so. The clasps can only be worn on the long ribbon, the long length of ribbon which carries a medal or a star. There is no room for them on the ordinary narrow strip of ribbon, which is all we have to give at the present time. However, this whole matter will be most attentively studied bearing in mind, of course, that a clasp for a spectacular action may connote less sacrifice and endurance and daring than long service in a submarine - (cheers) - or in a series of bombing sorties, or hard service in the front line, or to and fro across the oceans for months and years on end.

    It was always easy (continued the right hon. gentleman) in these matters to widen the regulation and admit a new class. On the other hand, it was never possible to go back and take away what had been given unless it had been given in error. There was no need for them to take any final negative decision at the present time. He though the debate would be one for consultation, for sensing the feelings of the country through its best exponent, the House of Commons, rather than for the arbitrary laying down of final awards. It was, however, necessary, while not taking negative decisions, and to take every step with great caution, and to examine carefully the consequences of other classes besides those newly benefiting. The most difficult borderline case was the anti-aircraft battery, and especially the Dover coastal batteries, which were constantly engaged with the enemy's artillery across the Straits.

    He had been most anxious to include those batteries in the 1939-43 ribbon. Up to the present, he had found no way of doing so without opening the door successively, first to the whole of the ack-ack command and, secondly, to the searchlights and predictors of all kinds, without which the guns could not fire or hit and whose personnel had been, and still often were, in equal danger to that of the gunners. In the next place they would immediately come to the National Fire Service, whose casualties had been at a much heavier rate than the ack-ack batteries. What about the police who stood round and kept order and rendered every assistance? What about the A.R.P. and the fire guards, so often in danger and discharging their work with so much efficiency, as we could see even from our recent minor experiences?

    If the National Fire Service and others like them were included, how could the whole Regular Army which stood in Great Britain be excluded, or the Dominion Forces which performed here a vital strategic role? If the Regular Army were included, why should not the Home Guard be eligible, who did their work without pay at the end of long days, who wore their uniforms and played an essential part in hurling back the danger of invasion from our shores? There remained a number of other categories such as the training and maintenance personnel of the R.A.F. and the bomb disposal squads which was, with the ack-ack batteries, one of the balancing cases. In many cases personal decorations had been won on a large scale by that heroic band of men, but he admitted quite frankly the difficulties which those cases had created of denying them and the difficulty of opening the door almost to a vast extent.

    If they were able to take the whole course he had indicated and open the door to class after class, as they would be asked to do and bound to do in logic, it would involve throwing the 1939-43 Star and ribbon open to an additional 12,000,000 persons and by doing that they would take away much of the distinction now attaching to the decoration. It would become so common as to be very nearly universal. The soldier, the sailor, and the airman returning from prolonged active service abroad wearing the Africa or 1939-43 Star would be bewildered when he saw all around him 12,000,000 mostly adult males who had not left the island but had got the same ribbon too.

    If the grants were made so widespread, could they stop at the services themselves? Indeed, he thought the civil population, the railway men, who bore with the immense composure and unflinching fortitude the full fury of the blitz and went about their ordinary work with faithful diligence and punctuality under the most trying conditions, those who continued in factories at work while the danger signals were going, would certainly have a moral claim to be considered. If danger was to be made the test, if proper and correct demeanour in the face of danger, and behaviour in circumstances showing indifference to personal injury or life, if that is to be made the test, millions of civilian men and women in their small homes, with nothing but the Anderson or Morrison shelters to shield them, who all the time preserved so fine a spirit, would have a claim as against the men in uniform, and there were many who had so far passed the war in districts unaffected by the blitz and had not been in action, had the honour to be in action, or come under the fire of the enemy.

    He had given a great deal of thought to these questions, in which he had been interested all his life, and he had assumed the duty of giving the Committee on the Grant of Honours guidance from time to time and representing the results of their labours to his Majesty in respect to the use of his royal prerogative. The difficulties were numerous, yet he did not at all repent that we had embarked on it because he knew the pleasure it had given the 3,000,000 men who already wore the ribbon on their breast. As at present advised the Government could not consent to widen the 1939-43 ribbon in order to include the whole Army or all who took part in the Battle of Britain, and they could not take any step which would lead us or drag us into such a course for the reasons he had tried to explain to the House.

    The question then arose whether a third and different ribbon for another Star should not be instituted for service in this country, and whether it should not be issued to the 10,000,000 or 12,000,000 persons affected. This would not detract in the same way from the distinction of the 1939-43 decoration, and it would certainly be well deserved in several million cases. He had asked that this should be examined and pondered over, and certainly on this and other points the Government would be influenced by the opinions expressed and the feelings manifested in the debate, and generally endeavour to sense the feelings of the House as a whole. He had not so far been able to reach any decisive conclusion himself, and certainly not any negative conclusion upon the point. All the same, there were important or substantial reasons for postponing to the end of the war this award, which would, of course, involve something similar for the civil defence in Malta and in other British countries, islands, and fortresses, which had been subject to attack. There were many other complications connected with it. He remained in a state of not being at all convinced that that step would be possible or desirable.

    He could say, however, that at the end of the war, when medals were struck, everyone who had worn the King's uniform and had served in uniformed, disciplined services, would, he presumed - he said presumed because the matter might not rest with his Majesty's present advisers - (laughter) - receive a Victory Medal to commemorate this great struggle for human freedom. There would also very likely be a United Nations or allied war medal of the widest possible application, and it is upon the background of those general medals that the stars, the issue of which his Majesty had already approved, would shine brightly forth. (Loud cheers.)

    Mr. Keeling (Twickenham, U.) asked whether the House could have a list of the qualifications so far approved by the Government.

    Sir A. Sinclair, Secretary of State for Air (Caithness and Sutherland, L.), read the following list of the special operations:-
    France, Belgium, Holland Norway, Greece and Crete, the North-West Frontier of India, the Lofoten Islands (March to December, 1941), Lucania, Syria, Spitsbergen, Hong-kong, Malaya, Vaagso, Burma in February, 1942, and Burma in February, 1943, General Wingate's Force, Brunewald, St. Nazaire, Hardelot, Madagascar, Spitsbergen, Boulogne-Le Touquet, the Aleutian Islands (air crew service only), Dieppe, Sark, and Sicily.

    The Prime Minister had laid down the principle that certain special operations of a very limited duration should enable a man to qualify for the Star and he had given a list of those operations. If hon. members had other operations to suggest which they though should be added to the list the Government would be glad to consider them.

    Mr. Hore-Belisha (Plymouth, Devonport, Ind.) asked whether service in any one of those theatres mentioned entitled a soldier, sailor, or airman to the award of the 1939-43 Star or must he have been in that theatre for a period?

    Sir A. Sinclair said that the qualifying dates in the case of Norway were April 14, 1940, to June 8, 1940; in the case of France and Belgium May 10, 1940 to June, 19, 1940; in the case of Holland May 12, 1940, to May 13, 1940.
    CL1 likes this.
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From The Times, May 28 1941:



    And announcement issued from 10, Downing Street last night states that the King has approved the institution of a badge for those invalided from the Naval, Military, and Air Forces, and the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleet through wounds or war disablement attributable to service since September 3, 1939.

    The King's Badge, as approved by his Majesty, consists of the Royal and Imperial Cypher, surmounted by a Crown and surrounded by a circular band bearing the inscription, "For Loyal Service." Mr. Percy Metcalfe has designed the badge, which is 1in. in diameter and of white metal. It is fitted with a buttonhole attachment for men, and a brooch attachment for women.

    Distribution will be carried out by the Ministry of Pensions, and the badge will be issued automatically to anyone entitled to receive it. No application will be necessary. It is expected that supplies will be ready in a few weeks.

    From The Times, December 4, 1944:



    Members of the Home Guard, Police and Civil Defence services who have been discharged through injury from war service, will in future be entitled to the award for the King's Badge, a Downing Street message announced yesterday.

    "The King's Badge," it said, "is awarded at present to those invalided from the armed forces and the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets through wounds or war disablement attributable to service since September 3, 1939. The extension of the issue of the badge to qualified persons who have been members of the Police, the National Fire Service, the Civil Defence general services and reserve, the Fire Guard, and ancillary organizations whose members are eligible for the award of chevrons for war service has now been approved by his Majesty. Issue will be restricted to those discharged from service who qualify for a pension under Personal Injuries (Civilians) scheme, or for similar compensation from another source.

    "Members of the Home Guard now also become eligible for the King's Badge subject to entitlement tests similar to those in the other armed forces.

    "Hitherto, officers and ratings of the Merchant Navy have been entitled to the King's Badge when awarded continuing pensions for 'war injury' or 'war risk injury.' In future, officers and ratings discharged from the Merchant Navy pool suffering disablement not falling into one or other of these categories, but nevertheless due to service and carrying workmen's compensation or similar payments, will be eligible for the badge. Members of the coastguard will also be eligible.

    "Where a pension is in payment in respect of a qualifying injury, the issue of the badge will be carried out by the Ministry of Pensions or other authority administering the pension. Where pension has ceased, application by the person concerned to the authority by whom it was awarded will be necessary.

    "Detailed information will be issued shortly to local authorities and other bodies concerned."
  10. James Daly

    James Daly Senior Member

    I've just had a thought. If thats the Times article, the statement should be recorded in Hansard, the verbatim record of business in the Houses of Parliamanent.

  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From The Times, November 18, 1943:


    The War Office states that provisional instructions have now been approved by the Army Council for the issue of the Africa Star, ribbon and clasps, which the King has instituted "to commemorate the expulsion of the enemy from the continent of Africa."

    The Africa Star will have priority over the 1939-43 Star, concerning which instructions will be issued at a later date. No person shall be entitled to both the Africa Star and the 1939-43 Star. The detailed terms of eligibility for the 1939-43 Star have not yet been definitely decided, and no authority can be given for the issue of the ribbon of this Star.

    The ribbon of the Africa Star will be worn immediately after the ribbons of prior war medals. It is pale buff colour, with a central vertical red stripe and two narrower stripes, one dark blue and the other light blue. The background is intended as a symbol of the desert, the central red stripe stands for the Army, the dark blue stripe for the Naval Forces and the Merchant Navy, and the light blue stripe for the Air Force. The ribbon is to be worn with the dark blue stripe farthest from the left shoulder.

    Officers and other ranks of the following classes will be eligible for the Star:-
    All officers and other ranks of the British, Dominion, Colonial, and Indian Forces:
    Nursing officers;
    Officers and other ranks of the A.T.S.;
    V.A.D. officers and members.

    To qualify for an award individuals must have been taken on the strength of a unit or formation for an appropriate period in a qualifying command. The Star is instituted for service in certain operational commands in the Middle East and Africa from the date of the entry of Italy into the war on June 10, 1940, up to the date of the cessation of operations against the enemy in North Africa on May 12, 1943, both dates inclusive.

    Service in the following will qualify for the award:-
    NORTH AFRICA (troops under North Africa Force Headquarters and Middle East Command, excluding formations not west of the Suez Canal and the Red Sea) from June 10, 1940, to May 12, 1943.

    ABYSSINIA from June 10, 1940, to November 27, 1941 (including attacks on Moyale, Elwak, and Kassala), Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. (All troops in these operations under the command of General Cunningham and General Platt.)

    BRITISH SOMALILAND from August 4, 1940, to August 19, 1940.

    MALTA from June 10, 1940, to May 12, 1943.

    An initial free issue of 2 1/2 inches of material sufficient to make up two medal ribbons and of two clasps will be made to all ranks when their entitlement has been authorized. The clasps will be plated with rhodium before issue.

    A silver emblem in the form of an Arabic 8 for members of the Eighth Army and in the form of an Arabic 1 for members of the First Army will be worn on the ribbon to denote the ward of a clasp to the Africa Star. This award will be restricted to service in the Eighth or First Armies respectively in the period from October 23, 1942, to May 12, 1943, both dates inclusive. Only one clasp will be granted to any individual. In the event of a double qualification, the clasp for the Army in which qualifying service was initiated will be worn.

    A consolidated Army Council Instruction with full conditions for both the Africa Star and the 1939-43 Star will be issued later and will include details of procedure regarding prisoners of war, missing, all entitled personnel now now serving, and also doubtful cases.
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    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Via FindmyPast,
    Birmingham Daily Post 11 May 1945:

    Birmingham Daily Post 11 May 1945, 1.png Birmingham Daily Post 11 May 1945, 2.png Birmingham Daily Post 11 May 1945, 3.png Birmingham Daily Post 11 May 1945, 4.png

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