Australia Service Medal 1939–1945

The Australia Service Medal 1939–1945 recognises service in Australia's armed forces, Mercantile Marine and Volunteer Defence Corps during World War II.

Australia Service Medal 1939–1945
Obverse and reverse of the medal
Awarded by Australia
TypeCampaign medal
Awarded forService in World War II
EstablishedNovember 1949
Total awardedCirca 600,000, including awards made post 1996[1]
RelatedAustralian Service Medal 1945–1975, Australian Active Service Medal 1945–1975

Ribbon bar

Award criteria

Initially, the qualifying period was at least 18 months full-time service at home or overseas, or at least three years part-time service, between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. There was no minimum qualifying period for those killed, wounded or disabled due to service. On 16 August 1996, the qualifying period was reduced to 30 days for full-time service and 90 days for part-time service.[1]

Australian Forces also qualified for the campaign stars and medals authorised for British and Commonwealth Forces,[2] with the Australia Service Medal worn immediately after the War Medal 1939–1945.[3]


  • The Australia Service Medal 1939–1945 is a circular cupro-nickel medal, 36 millimetres (1.4 in) in diameter.[1]
  • The obverse bears the crowned effigy of King George VI, surrounded by the inscription 'GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX ET INDIAE IMP'.[4]
  • The reverse shows the coat of arms of the Commonwealth of Australia surrounded by the words 'THE AUSTRALIA SERVICE MEDAL 1939–1945'.[4]
  • The 32 millimetres (1.3 in) wide medal ribbon has a wide khaki central stripe, flanked by two narrow red stripes, with edge stripes of dark blue on the left and light blue on the right. The khaki represents the Army, and the red, dark blue and light blue represent the Mercantile Marine, Navy and Air Force respectively.[4][5]

Medals were awarded with the recipient's name impressed on the rim.[1]

See also


  1. John W. Mussell, editor (2015). Medal Yearbook 2015. Token Publishing Limited, Honiton, Devon. p. 193.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. H. Taprell Dorling (1956). Ribbons and Medals. A. H. Baldwin & Son, London. p. 102.
  3. "No. 40204". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 1954. p. 3538.
  4. Joslin, Litherland and Simpkin (1988). British Battles and Medals. Spink, London. p. 256.
  5. "Defence Honours & Awards". Australian Department of Defence. Retrieved 29 December 2017.

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