Women’s Royal Voluntary Service Medal

Era: 1961 - Present

Approved by Her Majesty the Queen on 23rd March 1961 the Women’s Voluntary Service Medal gave recognition to a volunteer after completing forty duties each year over a period of fifteen years and exemplary service in the Women's Voluntary Service.

In recognition of its valued work Queen Elizabeth II (patron of the Women's Voluntary Service) granted the organisation the prefix "Royal" in 1966 and the title of the medal was changed to Women's Royal Voluntary 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 – Broad green central stripe flanked by a white and red stripe repeated on both sides

Women’s Royal Voluntary Service Medal ribbon
Women’s Royal Voluntary Service Medal ribbon

Suspender - Straight

Type – Service medal

Eligibility – Royal Voluntary Service members

Awarded for – Fifteen years’ service

Established – 1961

Designer – Design was created by coin designer Norman Sillman

Naming – Issued unnamed

Bars / Clasps – Bars for additional fifteen years’ service can be awarded.

Description – Silver circular medal 36mm diameter. The medal obverse shows interlocking initials ‘WVS’ in an ivy wreath and rosebuds, the symbol of steadfastness. The reverse shows three flower stems of rosemary, the woman’s herb, to typify remembrance and friendship. It is circumscribed ‘SERVICE BEYOND SELF’


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/ Women's_Royal_Voluntary_Service_Medal >

Which are released under the terms of



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