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Defence Medal 1939-1945

The Defence Medal was awarded for service in the forces in non-operational areas subjected to air attack or closey threatened for at least three years service in Great Britain until 8th May 1945 or one year in territories overseas until 2 September 1945. In the case of mine and bomb disposal units the time qualification was three months and Canadians serving for one year in Newfoundland were eligible and persons serving for six months in Hong Kong were also eligible. Service in West Africa, Palestine and India, other than operational air crew, qualified also for this award. Those awarded the George Cross or the George Medal for civil defence received this award and the Home Guard also qualified for this award.

Owing to the terms of reference it was not unusual to find a person with this award who had never heard a shot fired, but a person with only the Defence Medal, for example, whilst serving in the rescue services in London earned also this award and only the man who wears this award knows why it was earned.

The award has the coinage head of King George VI on the obverse. The reverse shows the Royal Crown resting above a small oak tree and flanked by two heraldic lions. The dates 1939 and 1945 appear in the top left and right respectively on the reverse, whilst beneath are the words THE DEFENCE MEDAL. The Medal is made of a Cupro-Nickel combination. The Canadian versions however, were made of ".800 fine" silver.

The light green ribbon is 1.25 inches wide with a central stripe of orange, which is 0.5 inches wide, and a narrow black stripe in the middle of each green stripe. The orange (flame colour) represents the enemy attacks on the green land of England and the black stripes represents the black-outs.

Adair, Hugh* August 24th, 1923
† October 27th, 2013

Grid List
NameDate of birthDate of deathAwards
Wagner, Alan Derek 18-07-1944more 
Wain, William Job  more 
Waite, Albert Henry12-01-191802-06-1999 
Wake, Nancy Grace Augusta30-08-191207-08-2011more 
Wales, Cyril Archibald21-02-190800-00-1981 
Walker, Arnold Edgar "Blondie"04-04-191709-11-2008more 
Walker, Reginald Leonard   
Wallace, Ivan James Vincent23-04-192023-01-1945more 
Wallach, Cecil William "Bill"   
Waller, James06-09-1911 more 
Walsh, William James "Billy"20-01-191707-10-1971more 
Walters, George William11-02-192018-07-1942 
Walton, Frederick Charles   
Ward, Leslie David05-02-192013-02-1972 
Warde, Ambrose Harry23-08-192130-07-2011 
Waters, Thomas12-10-191430-09-1955 
Watkin, Cyril Frederick   
Watkins, Tasker18-11-191809-09-2007more 
Watkins, Winifred "Betty"16-08-1916  
Watkinson, Charles   
Watson, Anthony  more 
Watson, John Bernard Robert14-01-191713-03-2011 
Watts, Philip Guy05-11-192009-08-1961more 
Wavell, Archibald Percival, 1st Earl Wavell05-05-188324-05-1950more 
Webb, Alfred Denys  more 
Webb, Gordon Geoffrey Henry00-04-192000-02-1991more 
Webber, John James "Jim"   
Webster, Bertram 00-00-1988more 
Wellum, Geoffrey Harry Augustus04-08-192118-07-2018 
Welsh, William Lawrie10-02-188102-01-1962more 
Wersch, van, Albert19-06-191520-06-1998more 
West, James Rowland 13-04-1942 
West, Wilfred Harold23-08-190005-08-1984more 
White, Albert Cartledge 16-06-1947 
White, John Ernest   
Whitehead, David Adie "Torpy"30-09-189623-10-1992more 
Whitehouse, Frederick James24-02-1914  
Whittaker, Ivan00-00-192100-00-1979more 
Whitten, Herbert Duke   
Whittingham, Sam James26-03-192118-11-1943 
Wickham, Peter Reginald Whalley26-03-191829-04-1970more 
Wilcox, John Holland25-09-191800-11-1999more 
Wiles, John Walter29-04-191619-05-2005 
Wiley, George William 31-03-1944 
Wilkins, Frank 08-12-1944 
Willers, Albert George   
William, Ellis   
Williams, George  more 
Williams, John Stanley   
Williams, Kenneth Sidney23-07-1921  
Williams, Lloyd  more 
Williams, Robin Walton   
Williams, Thomas Garton  more 
Williamson, Tom   
Willis, Algernon Usborne17-05-188912-04-1976more 
Wills, John Fowler "Tubby"00-00-191900-11-1950more 
Wilson, Eric Charles Twelves02-10-191223-12-2008more 
Wilson, Clement Watt "Tug"15-11-191923-12-1992 
Wilson, John15-02-1899  
Wilson, Stanley Livingston17-04-190502-06-1990more 
Winckel, Willem Frederik Auguste "Gus"03-11-191217-08-2013 
Windeyer, William John Victor28-07-190023-11-1987more 
Winkler, Witold Kazimierz00-01-1917 more 
Wishart, David John18-12-1919  
Witherington, Pearl24-06-191424-02-2008more 
Witko, Marian Stanislaw02-01-191100-08-1968more 
Wojciechowski, Stanislaw07-06-1925  
Wojtyga, Adam Maksymilian20-12-189603-02-1956more 
Wolfe, Edward Chatham09-11-191100-04-1994more 
Wood, Guy Huitson00-00-191200-00-1974 
Wood, James   
Woodbridge, Stanley James29-08-192107-02-1945 
Woodhouse, Charles Henry Lawrence09-07-189323-09-1978more 
Woods, James Gerard 24-12-1944 
Woolford, Earle00-00-191805-12-1971 
Woolley, Edward Dutton02-11-191000-07-1984 
Woolley, Frank Geoffrey01-06-192228-11-1959more 
Wozniak, Roman Roy "Wozzie"29-06-1919 more 
Wright, Peter Harold10-08-191605-04-1990more 
Wright, George Henry   
Wright, John Douglas  more 
Wright, Norman Harry01-08-1913  
Wyatt, Bryan   
Wyatt, Leslie Ernest   
Wylie, George Cameron25-12-190801-02-1987