Medals / Badges / Emblems
Claiming for campaign medals
Replacing campaign medals
How is a medal instituted?
Medal for Suez Canal Zone 1951 to 1954
The Arctic Emblem
National Service medals
The Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal
UK Armed Forces Veterans Lapel Badge
UK Merchant Seafarers Veterans Badge
Claiming for campaign medals
The vast majority of Service personnel receive campaign medals awarded to them while they are still in the Armed Forces, as they are required to be worn for ceremonial duty and other functions for which their uniform is required. If, however an individual leaves the Armed Forces before the medal can be issued, it is his or her responsibility to claim them from the Ministry of Defence Medal Office. As a result, there are still many veterans who have not received the medals to which they are entitled. By far the largest group of veterans were those who were in the Armed Forces during the Second World War.
As a general rule, most Second World War Service personnel were not issued with medals before they were de-mobilised at the end of the war and consequently they had to claim them after they had left the Services. This differed from the arrangements at the end of the First World War when the majority of medals were sent out automatically. This was not considered to be practical after the Second World War, as most people had returned to 'civvy street' before the medals were instituted and manufacturing commenced in the late 1940s. The task of locating them individually would have been an enormous and hugely expensive task. It was decided at the time that only those people who remained in the Armed Forces would receive their medals automatically. Everyone else had to claim them. Although the availability of medals for wartime service was widely advertised at the time, many people, for a variety of reasons, did not do so. Even now, nearly 60 years later, several hundred veterans, or their next of kin, still make an initial claim for Second World War medals, every month. They were, and still are, issued in the first instance free of charge. Medals can be issued to the legal next of kin of deceased ex-Servicemen/women, however proof of kinship will be required.
To claim medals which never before have been issued, replace stolen/destroyed medals (see below for special instructions), or find out if an individual is entitled to a medal, please write to the medal office at the address below. The following information (or as much as possible) will be required:
Service Number, Regiment/Corps (Army/RM), Branch/Trade (RAF and RN), Full Name, Date of Birth, Rank and date of discharge, plus, of course, your current name and address. At the moment, the medal offices are unable to accept claims or queries by e-mail.
As a large number of people have not claimed for their medals until now, there is usually a backlog of requests, all of which are dealt with strictly in the order the claims are received. All claims are dealt with as quickly as possible and there are teams of skilled officials who work on this task all the time. Every effort will be made to acknowledge and process claims in a timely manner, but please appreciate that if you are claiming a medal for service performed many years ago it will be necessary to recover files from the archives, which will take a little time, so please be patient.
All information about medals issued to First World War veterans is held at the National Archive at Kew.
Claims for medals for service in the Home Guard are also dealt with by the MOD Medal Office.
Contact the Ministry of Defence Medal Office at the following address:
Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA)
(Joint Personnel Administration Centre)
MOD Medal Office
JPAC Enquiry Centre
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 0141 224 3586
Free Phone: 0800 085 3600
Overseas Civ: +44 (0) 141 224 3600
Mil 94560 3600