Instituted by King George V on 1st July 1919 the Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal could be awarded to Regular Force non-commissioned officers and airmen of the Royal Air Force.
It was awarded to NCO’s and other ranks of the Royal Air Force for 18 years exemplary service, reduced in 1977 to 15 years. Before 1945 conduct below the required standard was permitted to count if the airman had displayed higher exemplary conduct against the enemy, gallantry or some special service in times of emergency. From 1944 and any prior service in the Navy and Army could be counted. Prior to this date only up to four years’ service could be counted. In 1947 officers became eligible for the medal provided they had at least 12 years’ service in the ranks.
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 blue and maroon with white edges
Suspender - Ornate
Type – Military long service medal
Eligibility – Air Force Other Ranks, Conditionally to officers from 1947
Awarded for – 18 years’ service until 1977; 15 years’ service from 1977
Established – 1919
Naming – Recipients details are inscribed on the rim.
Clasps – Bar for additional periods of 15 years worn on the medal ribbon. The bar is represented by a silver rosette when ribbon only is worn.
Description – Silver medal 36mm diameter. The obverse of the medal shows the effigy of the reigning monarch, King George V, on the first version. Two versions of the medal each were produced during the reigns of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse of the medal remained unchanged through all versions of the obverse and bears the Royal Air Force eagle with outstretched wings, surmounted by the crown and with the inscription ‘FOR LONG SERVICE AND GOOD CONDUCT’ around the circumference.
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