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Volunteer Long Service Medal for India and the Colonies
Volunteer Long Service Medal (Colonial) Victoria.jpg
Queen Victoria version
Awarded by the Monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Type Military long service medal
Eligibility Other ranks and Officers who have served in the ranks of the Volunteer Forces throughout the British Empire
Awarded for Twenty years service
Eighteen years service in India
Status Discontinued in 1930
Statistics
Established 1896
Last awarded 1930
Order of Wear
Next (higher) Volunteer Officers' Decoration for India and the Colonies
Next (lower) Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration
Related Volunteer Long Service Medal
Ribbon - Volunteer Long Service Medal.png
Ribbon bar

The Volunteer Long Service Medal was instituted in 1894 as an award for long service by other ranks and some officers of the United Kingdom's Volunteer Force. In 1896 the grant of the medal was extended to other ranks and officers who had served in the ranks of the Volunteer Forces throughout the British Empire. A separate new medal was instituted, the Volunteer Long Service Medal for India and the Colonies. The awarding of this medal was discontinued in stages when it was superseded in most territories by the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal in 1899 and in the remainder by the Efficiency Medal in 1930.[1][2]

Origin

The Volunteer Long Service Medal was instituted in 1894 as an award for long service by other ranks in the part-time Volunteer Force of the United Kingdom, as well as to officers who had served in the ranks but who had not qualified for the award of the Volunteer Officers' Decoration. The qualifying period of service was twenty years.[1][3][4]

Institution

On 13 June 1896 the grant of the Volunteer Long Service Medal was extended by Queen Victoria to members of Volunteer Forces throughout the British Empire, defined as being India, the Dominion of Canada, the Crown Colonies and the British Protectorates. A separate new medal was instituted, the Volunteer Long Service Medal for India and the Colonies. Institution of this medal was not, as usual, by Royal Warrant but in terms of a special Army Order. This medal was similar in design to the Volunteer Long Service Medal, but bore different inscriptions on the obverse of each monarch's version.[2][5]

Award criteria

The qualifying period of service was also twenty years, except in India where it was eighteen years. The medal could be awarded upon the recommendation by an individual's present or, if retired, former commanding officer. Service had to have been consecutive, with allowance being made for special circumstances. Officer recipients who were subsequently awarded the Volunteer Officers' Decoration or the Volunteer Officers' Decoration for India and the Colonies had to surrender the medal.[1][2][3]

Order of wear

In the order of wear prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, the Volunteer Long Service Medal for India and the Colonies takes precedence after the Volunteer Officers' Decoration for India and the Colonies and before the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration.[6]

Description

King Edward VII double-toe claw version

King Edward VII single-toe claw version

King George V version

The medal was struck in silver and is a disk, 1.45 inches (37 millimetres) in diameter, with a raised rim on each side. It is suspended from a straight swivelling silver bar, affixed to the medal by means of a claw and a pin through the upper edge of the medal.[1][2]

Obverse

The obverse of the medal depicts the reigning monarch. Three obverse versions of the medal were struck.[4]

  • The original version of 1896, created by George William de Saulles, shows the effigy of Queen Victoria wearing the Crown, a veil and the Star of the Order of the Garter. The effigy is circumscribed "VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX" (Victoria, Queen and Empress). This version's suspender is affixed to the medal by means of a double-toe claw. Some Queen Victoria medals were awarded up to July 1902, post-dating her death.[4][7]
  • The King Edward VII version, introduced after his succession to the throne in 1901, displays his effigy in Field Marshal's uniform. The effigy, also created by De Saulles, is circumscribed "EDWARDVS VII KAISAR-I-HIND" (Edward VII, Emperor of India) in the Hindustani language. On this version the suspender is affixed to the medal by means of either the older double-toe or the later single-toe claw. Some King Edward VII medals were awarded up to April 1911, post-dating his death.[4][8]
  • The King George V version, introduced after his succession to the throne in 1910, shows the King in Field Marshal's uniform and is circumscribed "GEOGIVS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND: IMP:" (George V, King of Great Britain, Emperor of India). This version's suspender is affixed to the medal by means of the older double-toe claw.[9]
Reverse

The reverse shows a palm and laurel wreath that supports a scrolled banner bearing the inscription "FOR LONG SERVICE IN THE VOLUNTEER FORCE" in four lines.[1][2]

Ribbon

The ribbon is the same as that of the Volunteer Long Service Medal, plain dark green and 1 14 inches (32 millimetres) wide.[1][2]

Discontinuation

Between 1899 and 1902 the medal was superseded in the Dominion, the Crown Colonies, the British Protectorates and most Crown Dependencies by the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal.[5][10]

It continued to be awarded to the Isle of Man Volunteers until the 7th (Isle of Man) Volunteer Battalion was disbanded on 3 March 1920, and in Bermuda and India until 1930, when it was finally superseded by the Efficiency Medal.[9][11][12]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Mayo, John Horsley (1897). Medals and Decorations of the British Army and Navy, Vol. II, 1897 (No. 224. Volunteer Long Service, 1894.). London: A. Constable. p. 495. https://archive.org/stream/medalsdecoration02mayouoft#page/494/mode/2up. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Mayo, John Horsley (1897). Medals and Decorations of the British Army and Navy, Vol. II, 1897 (No. 225. Volunteer Long Service Medal for Indian and Colonial Forces, 1896.). London: A. Constable. p. 499. https://archive.org/stream/medalsdecoration02mayouoft#page/498/mode/2up. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Volunteer Force Long Service Medal, awarded to Col. Sgt. R. Bransom between 1894 & 1901". The Fitzwilliam Museum: Watson Medals Catalogue Home. The Fitzwilliam Museum. 31 July 2006. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/coins/collection/watson/page203.html. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The Military Archive – Volunteer Long Service Medal (Accessed 30 June 2015)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Birkenhead Returned Services Association – Military Medals – The Volunteer Long Service Medal (Accessed 1 July 2015)
  6. "No. 56878". 17 March 2003. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/56878/supplement/ 
  7. Latin Dictionary – Victoria Regina et Imperatrix (VRI) (Accessed 1 July 2015)
  8. Medal-Medaille Royal Naval Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, Edward VII issue, 1908–1910, attributed (Accessed 1 July 2015)
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Volunteer Force Long Service Medal (Colonies), King George V issue, 1911–1930, miniature". Medal-Medaille. 6 February 2006. http://www.medal-medaille.com/product_info.php?products_id=11175. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  10. South African Medal Website – Colonial Military Forces (Accessed 6 May 2015)
  11. Isle of Man Volunteers at regiments.org by T.F.Mills at the Wayback Machine (archived 1 January 2007)
  12. Mackay, J., Mussell, J.W., Editorial Team of Medal News, (2005), The Medal Yearbook, page 225, (Token Publishing Limited)


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