Territorial Decoration

Era: 1908 - 1999

Instituted on 29th September 1908 the Territorial Decoration replaced the Volunteers Officers Decoration following the establishment of the Territorial Force on 1st April 1908 following the enactment of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907, which was a large reorganisation of the old Volunteer Army and the remaining units of militia and Yeomanry. The Territorial Decoration was a military medal awarded for long service in the Territorial Force and its successor, the Territorial Army.

Qualification for the award was a minimum of 20 years’ service (not necessarily continuous) as a commissioned officer in the Territorial Force; service in the ranks counted half towards the qualification, while war service counted as double.

Members of the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) were granted a distinctive ribbon on 1906, half blue, half scarlet, with yellow edges – King Edward’s racing colours. This distinction was bestowed by King Edward VII for the Volunteer Long Service And Good Conduct Medal and the honour extended to the same medals under the Territorial designations.

In 1930 the new Efficiency Decoration was introduced to be awarded to all three services, but when the Efficiency Decoration was awarded to a Territorial Army officer it continued to be known as the Territorial Decoration and the recipient still used the letters TD after their name. It was finally replaced in 1999 by the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal, awarded to all ranks in all services.


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 with a central yellow stripe, or half dark blue with yellow edges (HAC members)

Territorial Decoration ribbon
Territorial Decoration ribbon
Territorial Decoration (HAC) ribbon
Territorial Decoration (HAC) ribbon

Suspender - Ring

Type – Military long service decoration

Eligibility – Territorial Force, and later the Territorial Army - Commissioned Officers

Awarded for – Granted for a minimum of 20 years commissioned service, with service in the ranks counting half and war service counting double.

Established – 1908

Post Nominals - A recipient of this award is entitled to the letters "TD" after their name

Total awarded – 4,783

Naming – Issued unnamed although frequently encounter unofficially engraved in various styles on the medal reverse

Bars / Clasps – Oak bar broach on top of ribbon

Description – Silver and silver-gilt skeletal medal, height 46mm, max width 35mm.  The obverse shows the crowned Royal cypher of King Edward VII, or George V as appropriate, surrounded by an oval oak wreath. The reverse in plain, although sometime this can be seen engraved with recipients details, or hallmark for early issues.


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


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

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

<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_Decoration >

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