Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

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Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (William IV) v1.jpg
King William IV version with ring suspender
Awarded by the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and King of Hanover
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
TypeMilitary long service medal
EligibilityPermanent Force Other Ranks
Awarded forUntil 1870: 21 years infantry or 24 years cavalry service
From 1870: 18 years service and good conduct
StatusDiscontinued in 1930
Statistics
Established30 July 1830
First awarded1830
Order of wear
Next (higher) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Accumulated Campaign Service Medal
Equivalent Flag of the Cape Colony 1876-1910.svg Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Cape of Good Hope)
Flag of the Natal Colony (1875-1910).svg Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Natal)
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Medal
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military)
Next (lower) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (1848)
Ribbon - Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.png Ribbon - Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military).png
Ribbon Bars until and from 1916

The Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was instituted by King William IV in 1830. The medal remained in use for 100 years, until it was replaced by the Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military) in 1930. During that time the reverse of the medal remained virtually unchanged, while the design of the obverse was altered during the reigns of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V. [1]

William IV of the United Kingdom King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover 1830-1837

William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death in 1837. The third son of George III, William succeeded his elder brother George IV, becoming the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain's House of Hanover.

Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military)

The Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military) is medal awarded to regular members of the British Army. It was instituted by King George V in 1930 and replaced the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal as well as the Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Medal. The medal was originally awarded to Regular Army warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the British Army. It also had a number of territorial versions for the Permanent Forces of the British Dominions. The eligibility criteria was relaxed in 1947 to also allow the award of the medal to officers who had served a minimum period in the ranks before being commissioned. Since 2016, the eligibility was widened to include officers who had never served in the ranks, and so the medal can now be awarded to all regular members of the British Army who meet the required length of service.

Queen Victoria British monarch who reigned 1837–1901

Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India.

Contents

Institution

The Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was instituted by King William IV in 1830, for award to soldiers for long service and good conduct. It was the first non-campaign medal of the British Army. [1] [2] [3]

The obverse of the original medal showed a Trophy of Arms that incorporated a central shield bearing the Royal Coat of Arms, with the House of Hanover Shield in its centre. On the Queen Victoria version, introduced after her succession to the throne in 1837, the Hanover emblem was removed from the central shield. Upon the succession of King Edward VII to the throne in 1901, his effigy was placed on the medal's obverse, followed by the effigy of King George V in 1910. [1]

Hanover Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Hanover or Hannover is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony. Its 535,061 (2017) inhabitants make it the thirteenth-largest city of Germany, as well as the third-largest city of Northern Germany after Hamburg and Bremen. The city lies at the confluence of the River Leine and its tributary Ihme, in the south of the North German Plain, and is the largest city of the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region. It is the fifth-largest city in the Low German dialect area after Hamburg, Dortmund, Essen, and Bremen.

Edward VII King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India 1901-1910

Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.

George V King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India

George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.

Award criteria

The medal was initially awarded to soldiers in the ranks of the Regular Force who had completed 21 years of service in the infantry or 24 years in the cavalry. From 1870 the qualifying period was reduced and the medal was awarded to Regular Force non-commissioned officers and men who had completed eighteen years of irreproachable service, irrespective whether the service was in the infantry or the cavalry. [1] [2]

A recipient who was subsequently awarded the Meritorious Service Medal had to stop wearing the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. [4]

Meritorious Service Medal (United Kingdom) British military decoration

The Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) is a silver medal for distinguished service, or for gallantry, principally by non-commissioned officers of all of the British armed forces and of Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service.

Adoption

On 31 May 1895 Queen Victoria authorised Dominion and Colonial governments to adopt various military medals, including the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, and to award them to their local military forces. Territories that took advantage of the authorisation include Canada, Cape of Good Hope, India, Natal, New South Wales, New Zealand, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and, from 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia. [2]

Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Cape of Good Hope)

In May 1895, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various British military medals and to award them to their local military forces. The Cape of Good Hope introduced this system in September 1895 and, in 1896, instituted the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal .

Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Natal)

In May 1895, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various British military medals and to award them to their local military forces. The Colony of Natal introduced this system in August 1895 and, in 1897, instituted the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Natal).

Commonwealth of Australia version Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Australia).jpg
Commonwealth of Australia version

These territorial medals were identical to the Victoria and Edward VII versions of the medal, but with the name of each respective territory inscribed in a curved line above the usual inscription on the reverse of their respective medals. In addition, instead of a plain crimson ribbon, the ribbon of each territorial medal has a 4 millimetres wide band added in the centre, in a colour to represent the specific territory. [1] [4]

The award of these territorial versions of the medal was discontinued when the Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Medal was instituted in 1910 as a single common award for long service and good conduct in the Permanent or Regular Forces of the Dominions and Colonies. [2] [5]

Order of wear

In the order of wear prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and its territorial versions rank on par with the Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military) that replaced it in 1930. It takes precedence after the Accumulated Campaign Service Medal and before the Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (1830). [6]

Description

The medal was struck in silver and is a disk, 36 millimetres (1.42 inches) in diameter and 3 millimetres (0.12 inches) thick. Apart from the different obverse designs that came into use with each successive monarch, the suspension of the medal evolved over the years from a small or large ring to a plain curved bar suspender, and eventually an ornamented scroll pattern suspender that was initially a swivelling type and finally a fixed non-swivelling type. [1] [7]

Reverse

The reverse of all versions of the medal is smooth with a raised rim and bears the inscription "FOR LONG SERVICE AND GOOD CONDUCT" in four straight lines in the centre. The inscription is underlined by two spear blades, which evolved from three tied balls between the two blades on early versions of the medal to three separate balls between the blades on later versions. [4]

Ribbon

The ribbon was plain crimson from the medal's institution until 1916, initially 1 inch (25 millimetres) wide for the early small ring suspender medals and thereafter 1 14 inches (32 millimetres) wide for the subsequent medals with a large ring or bar suspenders. The same plain crimson ribbon was used with the Victoria Cross, but with a miniature button emblem of the Cross worn on the ribbon bar in undress. [7]

From June 1916 a new ribbon was used, at times crimson or sometimes reddish violet, and edged with 3 millimetres wide white bands. [1] [7] [8]

Versions

King William IV

William IV version with curved bar suspender Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (William IV) v2.jpg
William IV version with curved bar suspender

The King William IV version of the medal was struck in 1830. Since he was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover, the obverse depicted a Trophy of Arms that incorporated a central shield bearing the Royal Coat of Arms, with the House of Hanover Shield in its centre. [1] [7]

The obverse of this medal was designed by Benedetto Pistrucci, who also created the Saint George and the Dragon design which was used on the British gold sovereigns and crowns that first appeared during the Great Recoinage of 1816. [7] [3]

The first suspender was a clip with a small ring, but a larger ring was used from 1831, as depicted in the main picture above. Some of the later King William versions of the medal were suspended from a bar formed from rectangular wire, with a "U" shape on the lower part to pass through the steel clip that attached it to the medal, as depicted alongside. [1] [7]

Queen Victoria

Victoria version with ring suspender Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Victoria) v1.jpg
Victoria version with ring suspender

In 1837, upon the coronation of Queen Victoria, the personal union of the United Kingdom and Hanover ended as a result of differing succession laws. In terms of Salic Law, Hanover could only be inherited by a male heir, with the result that Hanover's throne was inherited by Victoria's uncle Ernest Augustus, younger brother of King William IV. [1] [7]

Victoria version with curved bar suspender Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Victoria).jpg
Victoria version with curved bar suspender

On the Queen Victoria version of the medal, the House of Hanover Shield was therefore removed from the central shield on the obverse. The same Victorian obverse design was also used for the original version of the Distinguished Conduct Medal that was instituted in 1854. [1]

Victoria version with scroll suspender Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Victoria) v2.jpg
Victoria version with scroll suspender

The reverse remained unaltered, while the suspender was still either a large ring or a rectangular wire bar, attached to the medal with an apparently silver clip. [7]

Victoria version with small lettering Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Victoria) v3.jpg
Victoria version with small lettering

Due to the large number of these medals that were awarded during the long reign of Queen Victoria, new dies had to be cut from time to time, which resulted in differences in appearance. In 1855 a Victoria version of the medal with new swivelling scroll suspender began to be produced. The suspender was affixed to the medal by means of a double-toe claw and a horizontal pin through the upper edge of the medal. [1] [7]

From 1874 a fourth version of the Victoria medal appeared, with smaller lettering on the reverse and with the underline to the inscription now two spear blades separated by three separate balls. The medal also had a redesigned and more elaborate scroll suspender. [1] [7]

The Victoria version of the medal was awarded up to the Army Order of July 1902, post-dating her death. [8]

King Edward VII

Edward VII version Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Edward VII).jpg
Edward VII version

After the death of Queen Victoria, the obverse of the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was changed to an effigy of the ruling monarch. The obverse of the Edward VII version, instituted in 1901, shows the King in Field Marshal's uniform, facing left, and is inscribed "EDWARDVS VII REX IMPERATOR" around the perimeter. [1]

The reverse of the medal remained unchanged, but the swivelling scroll suspender on this and subsequent versions was affixed to the medal by means of a single-toe claw and a horizontal pin through the upper edge of the medal. [1]

The Edward VII version of the medal was awarded up to the Army Order of April 1911, post-dating his death. [8]

King George V

George V version Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (George V).jpg
George V version

The obverse of the George V version, instituted in 1910, shows the King in Field Marshal's uniform, facing left. It is inscribed "GEORGIVS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND: IMP:" around the perimeter. [9]

In 1916 a new ribbon began to be used for the medal, as published in Army Order 183 of June 1916, to distinguish it from the ribbon of the Victoria Cross. It was still crimson, but edged with 3 millimetres wide white bands. In 1920 the swivelling scroll suspender was altered to a fixed non-swivelling type. The means of attachment to the medal remained a single-toe claw and a pin through the medal's upper edge. [1] [7] [8]

George V version with new ribbon and swivelling suspender Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (George V).jpg
George V version with new ribbon and swivelling suspender

Apart from the new ribbon, two other changes to the British long service and good conduct medal structure occurred during the reign of King George V. In 1910 the territorial versions of the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal were discontinued and replaced by the Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Medal, as a single common award for long service and good conduct in the Permanent or Regular Forces of the Dominions and Colonies. [2] [5]

While the Royal Navy already had the Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (1848), the birth of aerial warfare during the First World War and the establishment of the Royal Air Force in 1918 led to the institution of the Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1919. [1]

Discontinuation

On 23 September 1930, 100 years after it had been instituted, the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was replaced, along with the Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Medal, by the Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military) as a single medal for the British Army and all regular and permanent military forces of the British Empire. This new medal once again had various territorial versions, but this time in the form of subsidiary titles inscribed on a bar attached to the suspender of the medal, rather than on the medal reverse. [1] [7] [10]

Related Research Articles

Distinguished Conduct Medal United Kingdom military decoration for bravery

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Efficiency Medal

The Efficiency Medal was instituted in 1930 for award to part-time warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men after twelve years of efficient service on the active list of the Militia or the Territorial Army of the United Kingdom, or of the other Auxiliary Military Forces throughout the British Empire. At the same time a clasp was instituted for award to holders of the medal upon completion of further periods of six years of efficient service.

Efficiency Medal (South Africa)

The Efficiency Medal was instituted in 1930 for award to part-time warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men after twelve years of efficient service on the active list of the Citizen Force of the Union of South Africa. At the same time, a clasp was instituted for award to holders of the medal upon completion of further periods of six years of efficient service. The medal superseded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal.

Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers Decoration

The Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration, post-nominal letters VD, was established in 1899 as recognition for long and meritorious service as a part-time commissioned officer in any of the organized military forces of the British Colonies, Dependencies and Protectorates. It superseded the Volunteer Officers' Decoration for India and the Colonies in all these territories, but not in the Indian Empire.

Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

The Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, initially designated the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service Medal, was instituted in 1908. It could be awarded to part-time ratings in the United Kingdom's Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve after twelve years of service and good conduct. The medal was a Naval version of the Volunteer Long Service Medal and its successor, the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal.

Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Medal

The Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Medal is a long service and good conduct medal, instituted for award to other ranks of the Permanent Forces of the Dominions and Colonies of the British Empire. The medal, also known as the Permanent Overseas Forces Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, was established in 1910 as a single common award to supersede the several local versions of the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal which were being awarded by the various territories.

Volunteer Long Service Medal

The Volunteer Long Service Medal was instituted in 1894 as an award for long service by other ranks and some officers of the United Kingdom's Volunteer Force. Award of the medal was discontinued when it was superseded by the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal in 1908.

Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (South Africa)

The Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct is a distinctive South African version of the British Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military). It was awarded to members of the Permanent Force of the Union of South Africa who had completed eighteen years of reckonable service.

Distinguished Conduct Medal (Natal) military decoration for bravery in Natal

In 1895, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various British military decorations and medals and to award them to their local military forces. The Colony of Natal introduced this system in August 1895 and, in 1897, instituted the Distinguished Conduct Medal (Natal), post-nominal letters DCM.

Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (1848)

The Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (1848) is a long service medal awarded to regular members of Her Majesty's Naval Service. It was instituted by Queen Victoria to replace the Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (1830), and could be awarded to other ranks and men serving in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. Since 2016, after a number of changes in eligibility, all regular members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines who have completed fifteen years of reckonable service can be awarded the medal.

Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

The Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal is medal awarded to regular members of the Royal Air Force in recognition of long service. It was instituted by King George V in 1919, the year following the establishment of the world's first independent Air Force. At first, the medal was awarded to Regular Force non-commissioned officers and airmen of the Royal Air Force. The award criteria was later relaxed to also allow the award of the medal to officers who had served a minimum period in the ranks before being commissioned. Since 2016, it is awarded to all regular members of the RAF, including officers who had never served in the ranks.

Meritorious Service Medal (Cape of Good Hope)

In May 1895, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various British military medals and to award them to members of their local permanent military forces. The Cape of Good Hope introduced this system in September 1895 and, in 1896, instituted the Meritorious Service Medal .

Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal

The Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal was instituted by Queen Victoria in 1899 as a military long service award for part-time members of all ranks in any of the organized military forces of the British Colonies, Dependencies and Protectorates throughout the British Empire. The medal gradually superseded the Volunteer Long Service Medal for India and the Colonies in all these territories, with the exception of the Isle of Man, Bermuda and the Indian Empire.

Meritorious Service Medal (Natal)

In May 1895, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various British military medals and to award them to members of their local permanent military forces. The Colony of Natal introduced this system in August 1895 and, in 1897, instituted the Meritorious Service Medal (Natal).

Naval Good Shooting Medal

The Naval Good Shooting Medal is a Naval gunnery medal that was instituted in 1902, for award to the gunner on each type of ship's gun in the fleet who achieved first place in the gunnery competitions held during the Annual Fleet Competitions. From 1903 to 1914 medals were awarded annually, until the competition was discontinued upon the outbreak of the First World War.

Meritorious Service Medal (South Africa)

In May 1895, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various British military medals and to award them to their local permanent military forces. The Cape of Good Hope and Colony of Natal instituted their own territorial versions of the Meritorious Service Medal in terms of this authority. These two medals remained in use in the respective territories until after the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910.

Volunteer Long Service Medal for India and the Colonies

The Volunteer Long Service Medal was instituted in 1894 as an award for long service by other ranks and some officers of the United Kingdom's Volunteer Force. In 1896, the grant of the medal was extended to other ranks and officers who had served in the ranks of the Volunteer Forces throughout the British Empire. A separate new medal was instituted, the Volunteer Long Service Medal for India and the Colonies. Awarding of this medal was discontinued in stages when it was superseded in most territories by the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal in 1899 and in the remainder by the Efficiency Medal in 1930.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Stephen Stratford Medals site - British Military & Criminal History - 1900 to 1999 - Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 26 May 2015)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 McCreery, Christopher (2011). The Canadian Forces’ Decoration (PDF). Ottawa: Directorate of Honours and Recognition National Defence Headquarters. pp. 6–9. (Accessed 26 May 2015)
  3. 1 2 Craig, p. 297.
  4. 1 2 3 South African Medal Website – Colonial Military Forces (Accessed 6 May 2015)
  5. 1 2 South African Medal Website – Union Defence Forces (1913–1939) (Accessed 9 May 2015)
  6. "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3352.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 The Real Royal Engineers - The Army Long Service Good Conduct Medal (Accessed 2 June 2015)
  8. 1 2 3 4 The Military Archive - Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Archived 28 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 5 June 2015)
  9. Veterans Affairs Canada - Long Service and Good Conduct (Army) Medal (Accessed 5 June 2015)
  10. "No. 33653". The London Gazette . 17 October 1930. p. 6313.