Established 30th August 1919 by King George V, the Special Constabulary Long Service Medal is a long service medal awarded in the United Kingdom to members of the Special Constabulary who have completed a specified period of service. The medal was initially established as the Special Constabulary Medal. The intent of the original warrant was to recognize the service of the members of the Special Constabulary during the Great War of 1914-18, with further regulations to recognize nine years of service as a member of the Special Constabulary. A new Royal Warrant was promulgated in 1920 changing the name of the medal to the Special Constabulary Long Service Medal.
The medal was usually awarded to all ranks in the Special Constabulary for nine years unpaid service, with more than 50 duties per annum. War service with at least 50 duties counted as double. For those Special Constables who served during World War I the medal was awarded for three years’ service, and had performed at least 150 police duties. Recipients who received the medal under these conditions were entitled to a clasp to their medal denoting World War I service.
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 – A broad red stripe in the centre flanked by black and white stripes
Suspender - Straight
Type – Long service medal
Eligibility – Members of the Special Constabulary
Awarded for – 9 years’ service
Established – 30th August 1919
Bars / Clasps – A clasp inscribed ‘THE GREAT WAR 1914-18’ was awarded to those who qualified for the medal during that conflict. Clasps inscribed ‘LONG SERVICE’, with the date, are awarded for additional ten-year periods
Description – Bronze medal 36mm diameter. The medal obverse of the medal bears the effigy of the reigning sovereign. While the reverse of the medal shows a partial laurel wreath with a six line inscription ‘FOR FAITHFUL SERVICE IN THE SPECIAL CONSTABULARY’. A second reverse was introduced in 1956 for 15 years’ service in the Ulster Special Constabulary, the text modified to permit the inclusion of the word ‘ULSTER’. A third type was introduced in 1982 for 15 years’ service in the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Reserve and thus inscribed but, with the name change. In 2001 a fourth type was issued inscribed ‘POLICE RESERVE OF NORTHERN IRELAND’ was issued.
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