Newfoundland Volunteer War Service Medal


Created to honour those who served in the British Forces outside the province from Newfoundland and Labrador, the Newfoundland Volunteer War Service Medal was established on 6th November, 1981 and further amended by the Volunteer War Service Medal Act, 1993.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador awarded personnel who volunteered and served in units or organizations raised or maintained as the contribution of the Dominion of Newfoundland to the allied war effort, namely, the British Imperial Forces, the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit, the Merchant Navy and the Newfoundland Regiment, or, a unit or organization prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.  Recipients who received a volunteer war service medal from another country are ineligible for this Service medal.

The period of qualifying service was from 3rd September, 1939 through 2nd September, 1945 (WWII).


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 – 36mm wide ribbon, Centre wide red stripe with blue, white and red edges.

Newfoundland Volunteer War Service Medal ribbon
Newfoundland Volunteer War Service Medal ribbon

Type – War Service Medal.

Eligibility – World War II veterans from Newfoundland & Labrador.

Awarded for – Volunteer war service overseas during the Second World War in the British Imperial Forces, and is ineligible for or has not received a volunteer service medal from another country.

Campaign – World War Two 1939-45

Established – 6th November, 1981.

Suspender – Straight (plain)

Clasps – none issued.

Description – A circular bronze medal that is 36 mm diameter, the obverse has the legend “NEWFOUNDLAND VOLUNTEER SERVICE MEDAL 1939-45” around the circumference edge. Filling the centre and starting at the bottom is a large ‘GVIR’ surmounted by a Royal Crown and a Newfoundland Caribou.  The reverse depicts Britannia standing, with a spear in her right hand, a shield in her right hand and the sun's rays behind her. Two lions encircle each side with their heads towards the bottom.


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


Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’


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