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29/11/2021 08:22am

Efficiency Decoration

History
 
The Efficiency Decoration was instituted in 1930. The medal was presented for long service to part-time officers of the Territorial Army of the United Kingdom and of the Auxiliary Military Forces of the British Dominions, Colonies and Protectorates and India.
 
Up until 1949, it was issued after 20 years of commissioned service, not necessarily continuous, to ‘…an efficient and thoroughly capable officer…’ on the active list of the Territorial Army, or, of any other Auxiliary Military Force of the British Empire.
 
Half of the time served in the ranks could be considered as qualifying service for the decoration. Service in West Africa, natives of West Africa and periods spent on leave were excluded, however, war service counted double in regards to qualifying service for the decoration.
 
From 1949, the required period of qualifying service was reduced to a minimum of 12 years of commissioned service in the Territorial Force and the Auxiliary forces of the Commonwealth. In respect of officers whose service terminated before 3 September 1939, the qualifying period of commissioned service remained 20 years.
 
Bars were awarded to recognise further periods of six years qualifying service.
 
The medal bares a subsidiary title to denote whether the recipient qualified for the award while serving in the Territorial Army (in the UK) or, in one of the other Auxiliary Military Forces of the Empire.
 
This subsidiary title was inscribed on the bar-brooch of the decoration as either; TERRITORIAL’ in respect of the Territorial Army, or, the name of the applicable country in respect of other Auxiliary Military Forces.
 
The medal superseded the Volunteer Officers' Decoration, the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration and the Territorial Decoration.
 
In the British Commonwealth, the decoration was gradually superseded by local decorations in some member countries, in Canada by the Canadian Forces Decoration in 1951, in the Union of South Africa by the John Chard Decoration in 1952 and in Australia by the Reserve Force Decoration in 1982.
 
In the United Kingdom, the decoration was superseded in 1999 by the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal, however, New Zealand continues to award the Efficiency Decoration (New Zealand) and is one of a few countries to still do so.
 
Recipients serving in the Territorial Army of the United Kingdom are entitled to use the post-nominal letters ‘TD’, while recipients serving in the Auxiliary Military Forces are entitled to use the post-nominal letters ‘ED’.
 
A recipient, who had earlier been awarded any Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, or, the Efficiency Medal or a bar to either for service in the ranks, was not permitted to wear the medal or bar together with the decoration until the full service periods prescribed for each medal or bar and the decoration had been completed.
 
The equivalent award for other ranks was the Efficiency Medal.
 
Description
 
The original medal is oval, 36mm wide and 43mm in height and was struck in silver, although some parts are silver-gilt. The subsequent King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II versions are also oval but 37mm wide and 54mm in height.
 
The obverse of this medal is in the form of an oak leaf wreath in silver, tied with gold, with the Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch in the centre below the Royal crown, also in gold. Four versions of the decoration have been awarded, this is summarised as follows:-
 
  1. On the original King George V version of 1930, the Royal Cypher; ‘GVR’, for ‘Georgivs V Rex’, and the crown are both encircled by the wreath.
  2. The first King George VI version, introduced after his succession to the throne in 1936, has the Royal Cypher; ‘GRI’ for ‘Georgivs Rex Imperator’. On this and the subsequent versions, the crown is located higher and covers the top part of the wreath.
  3. The second King George VI version, with the Royal Cypher; ‘GVIR’ for ‘Georgivs VI Rex’, was introduced in the late 1940s.
  4. The Queen Elizabeth II version, with the Royal Cypher; ‘EIIR’ for ‘Elizabeth II Regina’, was introduced after her succession to the throne in 1952. This version of the medal is identical to that of the Emergency Reserve Decoration, instituted in 1952.
 
The reverse is plain, smooth and undecorated, with the year the medal was awarded impressed at the bottom (on decorations awarded in the United Kingdom), or, with the rank, initials and surname of the recipient impressed around the edge of the medal in some other countries.
 
The ribbon suspender is a ring formed of silver wire that passes through a small ring affixed to the top back of the crown that surmounts the medal.
 
The medal ribbon itself, is suspended from a rectangular silver bar-brooch, inscribed either; ‘TERRITORIAL’, in respect of the Territorial Army, or, with the name of the applicable country in respect of other Auxiliary Military Forces. Following the formation of the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve in 1967, the subsidiary title on the bar-brooch was changed from; ‘TERRITORIAL’ to; ‘T. & A.V.R’.
 
In 1982, the TERRITORIAL inscription once again replaced the T&AVR inscription.
 
In South Africa, a bilingual subsidiary title was used, with the bar-brooch inscribed; ‘UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA’, and; ‘UNIE VAN SUID-AFRIKA’, in two lines.
 
On the reverse, the bar-brooch is impressed with a silver hallmark.
 
Ribbon
 
Original Issue
 
 
T&AVR Issue
 
 
Honourable Artillery Company Issue
 
 
The ribbon is 38mm wide and green in colour with a thin yellow stripe along either edge.
 
In 1969 the ribbon was altered to a half blue, half green, with yellow edges following the formation of the T&AVR, in 1982 when the TERRITORIAL inscription replaced the T&AVR inscription, this new ribbon remained in place.
 
Ribbons issued to members of the Honourable Artillery Company differed, being half blue, half scarlet, with a thin yellow stripe along either edge.
 
This distinction was bestowed by King Edward VII for the Volunteer Long Service And Good Conduct Medal and the honour extended to the same medals under the Territorial designations.
 
The Honourable Artillery Company ribbon colours were the household colours of King Edward VII.
 
Bars/Clasps
 
Bars bearing a Royal crown are awarded in recognition of periods of further qualifying lengths of service.
 
In undress uniform or on occasions when the medal ribbon alone is worn, a silver rosette is worn on the ribbon to indicate each bar.
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
Dealer Retail Value */**
 
George V Territorial issue
£150.00
George V Commonwealth issue
£175.00
George VI GRI Territorial issue
£95.00
George VI GRI Commonwealth issue
£175.00
George VI GVIR Territorial issue
£95.00
George VI GVIR Commonwealth issue
£175.00
Elizabeth II Territorial issue
£100.00
Elizabeth II Commonwealth issue
£175.00
Elizabeth II T&AVR issue
£150.00
 
* It should be noted that the values quoted above reflect the average price that a medal dealer may expect to sell this medal for - please see the ‘things you should know’ web page for more details about valuing medals.
 
** The individual medal value will vary considerably based on the recipient’s details.
 
Further Historical Context
 
This section contains information on the following:-
 
- The British Militia.
- The Special Reserve.
- The Volunteer Force
- The Yeomanry.
- The Territorial Force.
- The Army Reserve.
- The Royal Naval Reserve.
- The Royal Marines Reserve.
- The Royal Auxiliary Air Force.
 
The British Militia - In 1707, the Acts of Union united the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain. The English and Welsh Militia and the Scottish Militia became part of the framework of the new British armed services. The Royal Scots Navy was incorporated into the Royal Navy, and the Scottish military (as opposed to naval) forces merged with the English, with the regular Scottish regiments maintaining their identities, although the command of the new British Army was from England.
 
The Militia Act 1757 had effect only in England and Wales and aimed to create a professional national military reserve. Records were kept, and the men were selected by ballot to serve for longer periods. Uniforms and weapons were provided, and the force was 'embodied' from time to time for training.
 
The threat of Ireland's belligerent all-Protestant militia to copy the American colonists and seek to free their country from British control if Ireland's demands for free trade were not met, and the inability of the British, after years of war overseas, to police Ireland easily, would later lead to the Union of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801.
 
The militia was embodied at various times during the French and Napoleonic Wars. It served at several strategic locations and was particularly stationed on the South Coast and in Ireland. A number of camps were held at Brighton, where the militia regiments were reviewed by the Prince Regent, the origin of the song 'Brighton Camp'.
 
The militia could not be compelled to serve overseas, but it was seen as a training reserve for the army, as bounties were offered to men who opted to 'exchange' from the militia to the regular army. Unlike many British Volunteer Corps formations, the uniforms of the militia resembled standing army uniforms trimmed with silver lace instead of gold.
 
Militia regiments were infantry regiments; there were no militia artillery units until 1854.
 
Originally highly autonomous, the units of the Militia were integrated into the Special Reserve after the Childers Reforms in 1881.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Special Reserve - The militia was transformed into the Special Reserve by the military reforms of Haldane in the reforming post 1906 Liberal government. In 1908 the militia infantry battalions were re-designated as 'reserve' and a number were amalgamated or disbanded.
 
Numbered Territorial Force battalions, ranking after the Special Reserve, were formed from the volunteer units at the same time. Altogether, 101 infantry battalions, 33 artillery regiments and two engineer regiments of special reservists were formed.
 
Upon mobilisation, the special reserve units would be formed at the depot and continue training while guarding vulnerable points in Britain. The special reserve units remained in Britain throughout the First World War, but their rank and file did not, since the object of the special reserve was to supply drafts of replacements for the overseas units of the regiment. The original militiamen soon disappeared, and the battalions became training units pure and simple.
 
The Special Reserve reverted to its militia designation in 1921, then to Supplementary Reserve in 1924, though the units were effectively placed in 'suspended animation' until disbanded in 1953.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Volunteer Force - The Volunteer Force was a citizen army of part-time rifle, artillery and engineer corps, created as a popular movement throughout the British Empire in 1859. Originally highly autonomous, the units of volunteers became increasingly integrated with the British Army after the Childers Reforms in 1881, before forming part of the Territorial Force in 1908.
 
Most of the regiments of the present Territorial Army Infantry, Artillery, Engineers and Signals units are directly descended from Volunteer Force units.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Yeomanry - Yeomanry is a designation used by a number of units or sub-units of the British Territorial Army, descended from volunteer cavalry regiments. Today, Yeomanry units may serve in a variety of different military roles.
 
Originally highly autonomous, the units of the Yeomanary became increasingly integrated with the British Army after the Childers Reforms in 1881, before forming part of the Territorial Force in 1908.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Territorial Force - The Territorial Force (TF) was the volunteer reserve component of the British Army from 1908 to 1920, when it became the Territorial Army (now the Army Reserve). The Territorial Force was formed by the Secretary of State for War, Richard Burdon Haldane, following the enactment of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907, which combined and re-organised the old Volunteer Army with the Yeomanry.
 
The TF was formed on 1 April 1908. As part of the same process, remaining units of militia were renamed Special Reserve.
 
The TF was envisaged as a home defence force for service during wartime; units were liable to serve anywhere within the United Kingdom when the force was embodied, but could not be compelled to serve outside the country.
 
However, any member or unit of the force could volunteer to be liable for overseas service - in 1910, when asked to nominate for Imperial Service overseas in the event of mobilisation, less than 10 percent of the Force chose to do so.
 
Individual members could also choose to be liable to be called up for service within the United Kingdom even in situations when the force as a whole was not embodied. The TF became the Army Reserve in 2013.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Army Reserve - The Army Reserve (known as the Territorial Army (TA) and the Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve (TAVR) from 1920 to 2013) is a volunteer active-duty reservist force and integrated element of the British Army.
 
The Army Reserve was created as the Territorial Force in 1908 by the Secretary of State for War, Richard Haldane, when the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907 combined the previously civilian-administered Volunteer Force, with the mounted Yeomanry (at the same time the Militia was renamed the Special Reserve).
 
Most Volunteer infantry units had unique identities, but lost these in the re-organisation, becoming Territorial battalions of Regular Army infantry regiments. Some, notably the London, Monmouthshire and Hertfordshire Regiments maintained a separate identity.
 
Its original purpose was home defence, although the establishment of the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve in 1967 involved a restructuring and revised doctrine leading to the provision of routine support for the regular army overseas. Reservists in the past also served as constables or bailiffs, even holding positions of civic duty as overseer of their parish.
 
The more modern Yeomen of the 18th century were cavalry-based units, which were often used to suppress riots such as the infamous Peterloo Massacre. Several units that are now part of the Army Reserve bear the title 'militia', reflecting their origins as part of that organisation prior to the formation of the Army Reserve.
 
During periods of total war, the Army Reserve is incorporated by the Royal Prerogative into Regular Service under one code of Military Law for the duration of hostilities or until de-activation is decided upon. After the Second World War, for example, the Army Reserve - or Territorial Army as it was known then - was not demobilised until 1947.
 
Army Reservists normally have a full-time civilian job or career, which in some cases provides skills and expertise that are directly transferable to a specialist military role, such as NHS employees serving in Reservist Army Medical Services units. All Army Reserve personnel have their civilian jobs protected to a limited extent by law should they be compulsorily mobilised.
 
There is, however, no legal protection against discrimination in employment for membership of the Army Reserve in the normal course of events (i.e. when not mobilised). The highest-ranking officer in the Army Reserve is Major-General Greg Smith TD, who is Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets).
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Royal Naval Reserve - The Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) is the volunteer reserve force of the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom.
 
The present RNR was formed in 1958 by merging the original Royal Naval Reserve and the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), created 1903. The RNR was active in both the First and Second World Wars and was re-activated in 2003 for the Second Gulf War (Iraq War).
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Royal Marines Reserve - The role of the Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) of the United Kingdom is to augment the regular Royal Marines in times of war or national crisis. The RMR consists of some 600-1000 trained ranks distributed among the four units within the UK. About 10 percent of the force are working with the Regular Corps on long-term attachments in all of the Royal Marines regular units.
 
All the volunteers within the RMR pass through the same rigorous commando course as the regulars. The former may be civilians with no previous military experience or are former regular Royal Marines.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Royal Auxiliary Air Force - The Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF), originally the Auxiliary Air Force (AAF), is the voluntary active duty reserve element of the Royal Air Force, providing a primary reinforcement capability for the regular service.
 
It consists of paid volunteers who give up some of their weekends, evenings and holidays to train at one of a number of squadrons around the United Kingdom. Its current mission is to provide trained personnel in support of the RAF.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
End of database.