Meritorious Service Medal (Australia)

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Meritorious Service Medal (Australia)
Meritorious Service Medal (Australia).png
Common reverse, 1903–1975
TypeService medal
Awarded for22 years meritorious service in the Australian Army
Country Flag of Australia.svg Australia
Presented byCommonwealth of Australia
Eligibility Warrant officers, NCOs and other ranks
Post-nominalsNone
StatusSuperseded by the National Medal
Established1902
First awarded1903
Last awarded1975
AUS Meritorious Service Medal.png
Ribbon bar
Precedence
Equivalent Meritorious Service Medal (United Kingdom)

The Australian Meritorious Service Medal (1903–75) was awarded to warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and other ranks who had completed 22 years meritorious service with Australian Military Forces, and who had previously received the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. [1]

Contents

History

Medal for long service (1903–75)

The Meritorious Service Medal was originally established in 1845 as a British decoration to reward army warrant officers and sergeants for long and meritorious service. Eligibility was extended in 1895 to local permanent forces in various parts of the British Empire, including the Australian colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. Each of these medals had a similar design, but was inscribed with the name of the colony on its reverse and had its own distinct ribbon. After the 1901 Federation of Australia, these medals were replace by a common Australian version, first awarded in 1903. [2] [3]

The medal ceased to be awarded in 1975, when all Imperial long service awards were replaced by the Australian National Medal. [4] [1]

The medal is silver, with the reigning sovereign's profile on the obverse. The reverse has a small crown above a wreath surrounding the inscription 'FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE, with 'COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA' above the crown. The medal is suspended from a crimson ribbon with two central dark green stripes. [2]

Medal for gallantry or valuable service (1916–28)

In 1916 the award criteria for the medal were widened by the UK authorities to include immediate awards for non-operational gallantry or valuable service connected with the war effort. Australian forces were awarded approximately 1,222 [5] Meritorious Service Medals on this basis, including 32 for gallantry. In 1928 this version of the medal ceased to be awarded. [1]

Awards made for gallantry or valuable service were of the standard British type, without the words 'COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA' on the reverse, and with a crimson ribbon with a narrow white stripe at each edge and in the centre. [1]

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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.

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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 .

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).

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.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Meritorious Service Medal (1902–1975)". Imperial Awards. pmc.gov.au/government/its-honour. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  2. 1 2 John Mussell (ed). Medal Yearbook 2015. p. 222. Published by Token Publishing Ltd. Honiton, Devon. ISBN   9781908828163.
  3. Meritorious Service Medal Archived 21 January 2015 at Archive.today , heritagemedals.com
  4. "Australian Meritorious Service Medal 1902–85". Australian War Memorial.
  5. Some sources state 1,237 awards e.g. see: "Military honours and decorations awarded during WWI". Centenary of World War I in Orange. www.centenaryww1orange.com.au. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2021.