New Zealand Campaign Medals - The New Zealand War Service Medal
About the New Zealand War Service Medal
The New Zealand War Service Medal was awarded for 28 days' full time service or six months' part time service in any of the New Zealand Armed Forces, the New Zealand National Military Reserve or the Home Guard between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Eligible part time Home Guard personnel must have completed their six months' part time service between 16 August 1940 and 1 January 1944 (the Home Guard was disbanded in December 1943).
New Zealand Merchant Navy personnel qualified after accumulating at 28 days' service at sea.
This medal was the first distinctively ‘New Zealand' war service medal, which was emphasised by the use of the fern leaf motif on the suspender and the reverse, and the national colours of black and white in the ribbon.
This medal was issued unengraved, as were other Second World War campaign medals awarded for service for New Zealand.
The Royal Warrant for the New Zealand War Service Medal can be viewed here.
Instructions for the administration of the medal are included in the Royal Warrant.
Clasps and Bars
There are no clasps or bars for this medal.
Order of Wear
The position of this medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.
Other Medals and Awards Issued to New Zealand Military Personnel (depending on where they served or if they died in service)
One or more British Commonwealth campaign stars and/or war medals could also be awarded depending on where an individual served. All the British Commonwealth campaign stars and war medals are shown on our website.
For those who died due to war service the New Zealand Memorial Cross (King George VI) was also issued to the next-of-kin.
Any British Commonwealth campaign stars and/or war medals an individual was eligible for were issued by the New Zealand military (usually from Trentham Military Camp) at the same time as the New Zealand War Service Medal. The New Zealand Memorial Cross (King George VI) was issued separately in the 1950s, but since then the New Zealand Memorial Cross has usually been issued at the same time as any unclaimed campaign or war service medals.
The procedure for families to check if Second World War medals have not been claimed, or which medals were issued and when, is listed on the Application Forms and General Enquiries page of our website.
For an informative discussion of the Home Guard see:
Ian McGibbon (editor), The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History, Auckland: Oxford University Press, 2000, pp.220-223.