Medals & Badges - United Kingdom

1939 - 1945 Star

1939-1945 Star

The 1939–45 Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in the Second World War. The medal was awarded for operational service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. It is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the 'Victory medal'. The ribbon has three vertical stripes of dark blue, red and light blue. The dark blue stripe represents the Naval Forces and the Merchant Navy, the red stripe the Armies and the light blue stripe the Air Forces.

Atlantic Star

Atlantic Star Medal

The Atlantic Star is a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth that was awarded for service in World War II. The star was awarded for six months service afloat, in the Atlantic or in Home Waters, within the period 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945. It was also awarded to aircrew who had taken part in operations against the enemy at sea within the qualifying areas, and to Naval personnel, subject to two months service in an operational unit.

Air Crew Europe Star

Air Crew Europe Star

The Air Crew Europe Star was awarded for operational flying from the UK over Europe, between the period 3 September 1939 to 5 June 1944 (outbreak of war until the start of the D-Day Normandy Invasion). RAF air crew had to complete 2 months service for this medal. However, this 2 months had to come after the service which entitled the person to the 1939-45 Star.

Africa Star

Africa Star Medal

The Africa Star was granted for operational service in North Africa from the date of the entry of Italy into the war on 10 June 1940, up to the date of the cessation of operations against the enemy in North Africa on 12 May 1943. The Africa Star may also be awarded for operational service as a member of the Australian Defence Force during the Syrian Campaign in the period from 8 June 1941 to 11 July 1941.

Pacific Star

Pacific Star Medal

The Pacific Star is awarded for entry into operational service in the Pacific Theatre of Operations between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. Navy and Merchant Navy personnel are eligible if the 1939-45 Star is earned by six months service or if they entered the Pacific Theatre between 2 March 1945 and 2 September 1945.

Burma Star

Burma Star Medal

This medal was awarded for one day or more of operational service during the Burma campaign, between 11 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. This medal was also awarded for certain specified service in China, Hong Kong, Malaya and Sumatra.

Italy Star

Italy Star Medal

The Italy Star was awarded for operational service (on land) in Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Pantelleria, the Aegean area and Dodecanese Islands, and Elba at any time between 11 June 1943 and 8 May 1945. Other areas to qualify for the award include Sicily between 11 June 1943 and 17 August 1943, Sardinia between 11 June 1943 and 19 September 1943, and Corsica between 11 June 1943 and 4 October 1943.

France and Germany Star

France and Germany Star Medal

This medal was awarded for service in France, Belgium, Holland or Germany in the period 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945. The qualifying service area was the direct support of land operations in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, in the North sea south of a line from the Firth of Forth to Kristiansand in the English Channel or the Bay of Biscay east of longitude 6 degrees W. Service off the coast of South France qualified for the Italy Star. Shore based Naval personnel were subject to the same qualification as the Army.

The Arctic Star

Arctic Star Medal

The Arctic Star is awarded to those who served in areas above the Arctic Circle during World War II. The Arctic Star is intended to commemorate service in the Arctic Convoys and is designed primarily for the ships of the convoys to North Russia and their escorts. The Arctic Star is granted for operational service of any length north of the Arctic Circle from 3 September 1939 to the 8 May 1945 inclusive.

War Medal

War Medal

This medal was awarded to all full-time personnel of the Armed Forces. Operational and non-operational service of at least 28 days counted. The Merchant Navy requirement stated that the 28 days minimum should be served at sea. The recipient was awarded this medal if their service period was terminated by their death, disability due to service or capture as a prisoner-of-war and their service qualified them for one of the stars. Also if the recipient had received one of the stars for a service period of less than 28 days, they were also awarded the War Medal.

Defence Medal

Defence Medal

This medal's qualification requirements are numerous and varied. They include: (1) Service in the Forces in non-operational areas subjected to air attack or closely threatened, providing such service last at least three years. (2) Non-operational service in the Forces overseas or outside the country of residence, providing that this service lasted for at least one year. If the territory was threatened by the enemy, or subjected to air raids, the duration requirement was reduced to six months. (3) Civil defence in military operational areas providing these civil defence activities were not eligible for campaign stars. (4) Members of any of the civilian services entitled to wear chevrons for their war service were eligible for this medal. (5) Members of the Home Guard resident in the UK, who had completed at least three years service. (6)Recipients of the George Cross or George Medal, regardless of their occupation, provided the George Cross or George Medal were won for service in civil defence.

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. It takes precedence over all other postnominals and medals. It may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and civilians under military command, and is presented to the recipient by the British monarch during an investiture held at Buckingham Palace. It is the joint highest award for bravery in the United Kingdom with the George Cross, which is the equivalent honour for valour not in the face of the enemy.

George Cross

George Cross Medal

On 15 April 1942, King George VI awarded Malta the George Cross, the highest civilian award for gallantry in the Commonwealth, normally awarded to individuals: "to honour her brave people, I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history". President Franklin Roosevelt, describing the wartime period, called Malta "one tiny bright flame in the darkness".

Distinguished Flying Cross

Distinguished Flying Cross Medal

The DFC was established on June 3rd, 1918, the birthday of King George V, and is awarded to Officers and Warrant officers for "an act or acts of valour and courage or devotion to duty performed whilst flying in active operations against the enemy". A straight silver bar is a further enhancement of the DFC, awarded for additional acts under the same terms as the cross. During the Second World War a total of 20,354 DFCs were awarded, with approximately 1,550 first bars and 42 second bars. Honorary awards were made on 964 occasions to aircrew from other non-commonwealth countries. A total of 4,018 first DFC's were awarded to RCAF personnel, plus 213 first bars and 6 second bars and also 358 to FAF/RAA/RNZAF persons in RCAF, plus 23 first bars. Also there were 247 DFC's awarded to Canadians in the RAF, plus 34 first bars. New Zealand RNZAF personnel received 1,032 DFC Crosses, eighty four first bars and four second bars, one Cross was awarded to a member of the Royal New Zealand Navy. A total of 44 Dutch airmen received the DFC.