Established in 1908 the Decoration for Officers of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve was a long service decoration and the design was similar to that of the Royal Naval Reserve Decoration. It could be awarded to part-time commissioned officers in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve after twenty years of service (not necessarily continuous) as efficient and thoroughly capable officer. Wartime service counted as double time, while half of the time served as a rating or in the ranks could be reckoned as qualifying service for the decoration. In any event, a minimum of seven years had to have been served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in any capacity before becoming eligible for the award of the decoration.
In 1966 the decoration was replaced by the Reserve Decoration (RD) following the merge of the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) composed of Merchant Navy seamen and the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) composed of civilian volunteers.
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 – Dark Green, or Dark blue with a central green stripe flanked by narrow red stripes (since 1919). The ribbon colours are symbolic, with the blue representing the sea, the red the Royal crimson and the green the original Volunteer Officers' Decoration ribbon colour.
Suspender - Ring
Type – Military long service decoration
Eligibility – Part-time commissioned officers of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Awarded for – Twenty years’ service
Established – 1908 and last awarded in 1966 (Still current in New Zealand)
Post nominals - Recipients are entitled to the letters VD after their name until c. 1947 and VRD thereafter
Clasps – The clasp, which was introduced c. 1954, has the Royal Cypher of Queen Elizabeth II (EIIR) in the centre, surmounted by the Royal Crown, with the year of the award impressed on the reverse. In undress uniform, a recipient of a clasp would wear a silver rosette on the ribbon bar.
Description – silver and silver-gilt, height 54mm and width max 33mm. The decoration is an oval skeletal design and the obverse has the royal cypher of the reigning monarch in silver-gilt, surrounded by a silver rope tied with a reef knot at the base and surmounted by a silver-gilt crown, which acts as the ribbon suspension. Five versions of the decoration have been awarded. The reverse is smooth and undecorated, usually with the year during which the decoration was awarded impressed on the back of the reef knot on decorations awarded in the United Kingdom, or engraved named to the recipient in other countries.
Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’
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