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22/04/2021 11:10am

Canadian Volunteer Service Medal

Conflict
 
World War II.
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
History
 
The Canadian Volunteer Service Medal was a Canadian campaign medal presented for service during World War II. The medal was instituted in October 1943 and was awarded to persons of any rank in the Naval, Military or Air Forces of Canada who voluntarily served on active service from 3 September 1939 to 1 March 1947.
 
Members of the Naval, Military or Air Forces of Canada are eligible for this medal if they voluntarily served on Active Service and honourably completed eighteen months (540 days) total service between the dates mentioned above.
 
On 14 March 2001, the Governor General extended the eligibility to individuals who served, but not as members of the military forces. Those granted eligibility were Canadian World War II Merchant Mariners; Auxiliary Services personnel, engaged and paid by the Canadian Legion, Knights of Columbus, Salvation Army and the YMCA; The Corps of Canadian (Civilian) Fire Fighters who served in the United Kingdom and helped fight the fires during the Blitz; Overseas Welfare Workers and the Voluntary Aid Detachments; Ferry Command Pilots and Aircrew under contract to deliver aircraft from North America; and British Commonwealth Air Training Plane Instructors.
 
On 6 June 2003, eligibility to the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal was extended to members and reserve constables of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who voluntarily served during the Second World War.
 
The medal was awarded in addition to the standard Commonwealth campaign awards for World War II.
 
Description
 
The medal is circular, 36mm in diameter and was struck in silver. The obverse of this medal depicts seven marching figures, representing men and women of the army, air force, navy and nursing service.
 
Around the edge of the medal is the inscription; ‘1939 CANADA 1945 VOLUNTARY SERVICE VOLONTAIRE’.
 
The reverse depicts the coat of arms of Canada.
 
The ribbon suspender bar is of a plain and straight design attached to the medal with a small metal ring.
 
The medal was issued un-named.
 
NB: The seven marching personnel are based on real people, they were named as; Leading Seaman P.G. Colbeck RCN, Private D.E. Dolan 1st Canadian Paratroop Battalion, Flight Sargent K.M. Morgan RCAF, Wren P. Mathie WRCNS, Lance Corporal J.M. Dann CWAC, LAW O.M. Salmon RCAF, Lieutenant Nursing Sister E.M. Lowe RCAMC.
 
Ribbon
 
 
The ribbon is 32mm wide with a royal blue centre strip with two equal stripes of scarlet and dark green at either side.
 
Bars/Clasps
 
This medal was issued with the following bars:-
 
Maple Leaf Silver Bar
Awarded to all those who undertook a minimum of 60 days service outside Canada; Newfoundland counted as outside Canada.
It is often referred to as a clasp with a maple leaf at its centre.
A small silver maple leaf is worn on the ribbon in undress.
The Dieppe Bar
Awarded to all those who participated in the Dieppe Raid on 19 August 1942.
The bar bears the inscription; 'DIEPPE' on a pebbled background, on top of the bars is an anchor surmounted by an eagle and a Thompson sub-machine gun.
The Hong Kong Bar
Awarded to all those who participated in the Battle of Hong Kong during the period of 8-25 December 1941.
 
NB: The intention to create a fourth bar to honour those who served in Bomber Command during WWII was announced by Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney and National Defence Minister Peter MacKay on 25 June 2012
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
Dealer Retail Value *
 
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal
£40.00
With Maple Leaf Silver bar
£75.00
With Dieppe bar
£75.00
With Hong Kong bar
£75.00
 
* 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.
 
Further Historical Context
 
This section contains information on:-
 
- Canadian Forces During World War II.
- The Dieppe Raid.
- The Battle Of Hong Kong.
 
Canadian Forces During World War II - In Canadian military history, North-West Europe has been used to refer to the land campaigns in that approximate area during World War II. Two separate battle honours were awarded to regiments who took part in these campaigns 'North-West Europe Campaign of 1940' and 'North-West Europe Campaign of 1944-1945'. The North-West Europe Campaign of 1940, during the Battle of France, was restricted to Belgium and the French Channel ports.
 
The North-West Europe Campaign of 1944-1945 started with the landings in Normandy and ended with Field Marshal Montgomery taking the German military surrender of all German forces in Holland, Northwest Germany and Denmark on Lüneburg Heath in Northwest Germany was fought by the British 21st Army Group. In the First campaign the French Army was responsible for the rest of the Western Front from Luxembourg to Switzerland, as were the American 12th Army and 6th Army Groups during the second campaign.
 
Units of the First Canadian Army fought in five major campaigns in North-West Europe, including the Battle of Normandy, the battles for the Channel Ports, the Battle of the Scheldt, the Rhineland fighting in February and March 1945, and the final operations east of the River Rhine. A period of static warfare existed from 1 November 1944 to 8 February 1945 during which time the First Canadian Army manned positions in the Nijmegen Salient.
 
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 Dieppe Raid - The Dieppe Raid, also known as the Battle of Dieppe, ’Operation Rutter' and, later, ‘Operation Jubilee', was a Second World War Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe. The raid took place on the northern coast of France on 19 August 1942. The assault began at 5:00 a.m. and by 10:50 a.m. the Allied commanders were forced to call a retreat. Over 6,000 infantrymen, predominantly Canadian, were supported by a Canadian Armoured regiment and a strong force of Royal Navy and smaller Royal Air Force landing contingents. It involved 5,000 Canadians, 1,000 British troops, and 50 United States Rangers.
 
Objectives included seizing and holding a major port for a short period, both to prove that it was possible and to gather intelligence. Upon retreat, the Allies also wanted to destroy coastal defences, port structures and all strategic buildings. The raid had the added objectives of boosting morale and demonstrating the firm commitment of the United Kingdom to open a Western front in Europe.
 
Virtually none of these objectives were met. Allied fire support was grossly inadequate and the raiding force was largely trapped on the beach by obstacles and German fire. After less than 10 hours since the first landings, the last Allied troops had all been either killed, evacuated, or left behind to be captured by the Germans. Instead of a demonstration of resolve, the bloody fiasco showed the world that the Allies could not hope to invade France for a long time. Some intelligence successes were achieved, including electronic intelligence.
 
A total of 3,623 of the 6,086 men (almost 60%) who made it ashore were either killed, wounded, or captured. The Royal Air Force failed to lure the Luftwaffe into open battle, and lost 96 aircraft (at least 32 to flak or accidents), compared to 48 lost by the Luftwaffe. The Royal Navy lost 33 landing craft and one destroyer. The events at Dieppe later influenced preparations for the North African (‘Operation Torch') and Normandy landings (‘Operation Overlord').
 
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 Battle Of Hong Kong - The Battle of Hong Kong (8–25 December 1941) was one of the first battles of the Pacific campaign of World War II. On the same morning as the attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbour forces of the Empire of Japan attacked British Hong Kong.
 
The attack was in violation of international law as Japan has not declared war against the British Empire. Japan's unprovoked act of aggression was met with stiff resistance from Hong Kong's garrison, composed of local troops as well as British, Canadian and Indian units.
 
In less than a week the defenders abandoned the mainland, and less than two weeks later, with their position on the island untenable, the colony surrendered.
 
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.