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British Commonwealth War and Campaign Medals Awarded to New Zealanders - The Defence Medal

Obverse View

The Defence Medal obverse view

Reverse View

The Defence Medal reverse view

About the Defence Medal

The Defence Medal was awarded to British military and civilian personnel for a range of service in the United Kingdom, and to British, British Commonwealth and British Colonial personnel who served outside their home countries in a non-operational area or in an area subject to threat such as air attack.

The length of qualifying service required for the award of the Defence Medal varied depending on where an individual served. For persons normally resident in the United Kingdom, three years' service in the United Kingdom was required (except for those who served in a Mine and Bomb Disposal Unit, for whom 90 days' service was required). Six months' (180 days) service overseas from or outside a person's country of residence in a non-operational area subjected to air attack or closely threatened (for example the United Kingdom, Palestine or Fiji) was required. Or 12 months’ (360 days) service overseas from or outside a person's country of residence in a non-operational area which was not subjected to air attack and which was not closely threatened was required.

On the obverse of this medal is the uncrowned effigy of King George VI. On the reverse are two lions flanking an oak sapling and a crown. The start and end years of the Second World War are at the sides (1939 on the left and 1945 on the right), and wavy lines representing the sea are below the lions. The words THE DEFENCE MEDAL appear below the wavy lines.

About the ribbon

The centre of the ribbon is flamed-coloured, and the edges are green, symbols of the enemy attacks on Great Britain.  Two black stripes represent the blackout in Great Britain.

Medal Eligibility Rules

The Eligibility Rules for the Defence Medal can be viewed here.

Clasps and Bars

No clasps or bars were issued for this medal.

Order of Wear

The position of this medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.