Efficiency Medal

Era: 1930 - 2000

Instituted on 17th October 1930 the Efficiency Medal was awarded 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. Service in wartime counted double as did service in West Africa during peacetime.

The Efficiency Medal bears a subsidiary title to denote whether the recipient qualified for its award while serving in the Militia or the Territorial Army or in one of the other Auxiliary Military Forces of the Empire. The subsidiary title was inscribed on a scroll bar attached to the medal suspender, ‘MILITIA’, ‘TERRITORIAL’ or ‘T.& A.V.R.’ in respect of the United Kingdom's Militia, Territorial Army and Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve respectively, or the name of the applicable country in respect of other Auxiliary Military Forces.

Medals awarded to members of the Auxiliary Military Forces of the British Dominions, Colonies and Protectorates and India bore scroll bars inscribed with the names of the respective countries.

The medal superseded the Volunteer Long Service Medal, the Volunteer Long Service Medal for India and the Colonies, the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal, the Militia Long Service Medal, the Special Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and the Territorial Efficiency Medal. The Efficiency Medal was terminated in 2000 and replaced by the Volunteer Reserve Service Medal.


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 – Three ribbons are used with the medal. In the United Kingdom, an alternative ribbon is used when the medal is awarded to members of the Honourable Artillery Company, while a new regular ribbon was introduced in 1967.

Green with yellow edges. In 1969, on Introduction of the ‘T.& A.V.R.’, the ribbon was altered to half blue, half green, with yellow edges. Members of the HAC wear, half blue, half scarlet, with yellow edges

Efficiency Medal Original ribbon
Efficiency Medal Original ribbon
Efficiency Medal Members of the HAC ribbon
Efficiency Medal Members of the HAC ribbon
Efficiency Medal T. & A.V.R ribbon
Efficiency Medal T. & A.V.R ribbon

Suspender - Ornate

Type – Military long service medal

Eligibility – Part-time other ranks and some officers

Awarded for – Twelve years of efficient service

Established – 1930

Naming – The name of the recipient was impressed on the rim of the medal.

Bars / Clasps – Clasps could initially be awarded to holders of the medal upon completion of eighteen and twenty-four years of efficient service. This was amended on 26th August 1944 to authorise the award of additional clasps for each additional completed period of six years of efficient service after twenty-four years.

Description – Silver and silver-gilt oval medal, height 39mm; max width 32mm. The fixed suspender bar, a pair of laurel leaves, is affixed to the medal by means of a single-toe claw and a horizontal pin through the upper edge of the medal. The suspender is decorated on the obverse with a scroll-pattern bar, inscribed to indicate the military force in which the recipient was serving at the time of qualification for the award. The medal obverse shows the monarch’s effigy and has a raised rim on all the versions. The reverse is smooth with a raised rim and bears the inscription ‘FOR EFFICIENT SERVICE’ in three lines. On the South African version, the Afrikaans and English inscriptions are ‘VIR BEKWAME DIENS’ and ‘FOR EFFICIENT SERVICE’, each language in three lines.


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


Bigbury Mint

< gov.uk/medals-campaigns-descriptions-and-eligibility>

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


Which are released under the terms of



Search for a name in our archive

Please enter a surname

Small Medium Large Landscape Portrait