Civil Defence Long Service Medal

Instituted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in March 1961 the Civil Defence Long Service Medal was a long service award in the United Kingdom and associated territories. It was awarded for fifteen years’ continuous service in a variety of different organizations including the Auxiliary Fire Service, National Hospital Service Reserve, United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation and the Civil Defence Corps. It was extended to Civil Defence personnel in Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Malta in 1965.


Materials:   The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issue in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants.  The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.

Ribbons:    Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed.  Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.

Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.

Ribbon – Blue ribbon with three narrow stripes of yellow, red and green (the yellow being worn farthest from the left shoulder.)

Civil Defence Long Service Medal ribbon
Civil Defence Long Service Medal ribbon

Suspender - Straight

Type – Long service medal

Eligibility – Civil Defence and other auxiliary forces.

Awarded for – Fifteen years’ continuous service in a variety of different organizations

Established – 1961

Naming – The medals were issued unnamed

Bars / Clasps - A bar clasp bearing the words "LONG SERVICE" was issued for each further period of 12 years’ service

Description – Oval cupro-nickel medal height 38mm, max width 32mm. On the obverse is the crowned head of Queen Elizabeth II and the legend ‘ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FID. DEF.’ The medal reverse depicts three shields bearing the initials of the three main services ‘CD’,  ‘AFS’ and ‘NHSR’ with and oak branch in the background. A Northern Ireland version exists with the lower shields bearing ‘AFRS’ and ‘HRS’. After 1968 a new reserve was used incorporating the words ‘CIVIL DEFENCE’ and ‘LONG SERVICE’.


This guide will help you through all the parts and descriptions of military medals


Bigbury Mint


Some of the material on this page was also partially derived from< Civil_Defence_Medal >

Which are released under the terms of


Search for a name in our archive

Please enter a surname

Small Medium Large Landscape Portrait