Language selection


Defence Medal.  A circular, silver (.800 fine) medal, 1.42 inches in diameter.

Defence Medal


Campaign Stars and Medals (1939-1954)

Defence Medal


The Defence Medal was a Second World War medal which was established on 16 August 1945.

Eligibility and criteria

Although the medal was usually awarded to Canadians for six months service in Britain between 03 September 1939 and 08 May 1945, the exact terms were: Service in the forces in non-operational areas subjected to air attack or closely threatened, providing such service lasted for three or more years. Service overseas or outside the country of residence, providing that such service lasted for one year, except in territories threatened by the enemy or subject to bomb attacks, in which case it was six months prior to 02 September 1945.

Under the terms of this last condition, Canadians serving for one year in Newfoundland were eligible and persons serving for six months in Hong Kong were also eligible. The qualifying period in mine and bomb disposal was three months. Canadians serving in West Africa, Palestine and India, other than operational air crew, qualified for this medal. Those awarded the George Cross (GC) or George Medal (GM) for civil defence received this medal. Home Guard and others in Britain qualified for this medal.


A circular, silver medal (80% pure), 1.42 inches in diameter. The British issue medals were made of cupro-nickel. Mounting includes a plain, straight, non-swiveling suspender with a single-toed claw.

The obverse shows the bareheaded coinage effigy of King George VI, facing left, and the legend: GEORGIVS VI D: BR: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:

On the reverse, the Royal Crown rests on the stump of an oak tree, flanked by a lion and a lioness. At the top left is the date 1939, and at the top right, the date 1945. In exergue, though not ruled off, is the wording: THE DEFENCE/MEDAL.

The light green ribbon is 1.25 inches wide with a central stripe of orange and a narrow black stripe in the middle of each green stripe. The orange represents the enemy attacks on the green land of England while the black represents the black-outs.

Date modified: