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Claiming for campaign medals
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How is a medal instituted?
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Claiming for campaign medals
The vast majority of Service personnel receive campaign medals awarded to them while they are still in the Armed Forces, as they are required to be worn for ceremonial duty and other functions for which their uniform is required. If, however an individual leaves the Armed Forces before the medal can be issued, it is his or her responsibility to claim them from the Ministry of Defence Medal Office. As a result, there are still many veterans who have not received the medals to which they are entitled. By far the largest group of veterans were those who were in the Armed Forces during the Second World War.
As a general rule, most Second World War Service personnel were not issued with medals before they were de-mobilised at the end of the war and consequently they had to claim them after they had left the Services. This differed from the arrangements at the end of the First World War when the majority of medals were sent out automatically. This was not considered to be practical after the Second World War, as most people had returned to civilian life before the medals were instituted in 1948 . At the time they were encouraged to visit their local Post Office, pick up a buff card and enter onto it their number rank and name, and send it to the Minister for War to request their medals.
Many had much more pressing things to worry about, like where were they going to live as a result of their house being demolished by bombing, or where were they going to find a job. It was decided at the time that only those people who remained in the Armed Forces would receive their medals automatically. Although the availability of medals for wartime service was widely advertised at the time, many people did not come forward. As a consequence , some 70 years later, the MOD Medal Office are receiving in the order of 200 applications for WW2 medals per week. They are still issued in the first instance free of charge. Medals can be issued to the legal next of kin of deceased ex-Servicemen/women; however proof of kinship will be required.
All information about medals issued to First World War veterans is held at the National Archive at Kew. Claims for medals for service in the Home Guard are also dealt with by the MOD Medal Office.
How to Claim
How to claim medals – I am a veteran
To claim medals that have not been issued, please complete the application form below and return it to the address stated. The following information (or as much as possible) will be required:
Service Number, Regiment/Corps (Army/RM), Branch/Trade (RAF and RN), Full Name, Date of Birth, Rank and date of discharge, plus, of course, your current name and address.
How to claim medals – I am the next of kin of a veteran who is now deceased.
If a service person’s medals were not claimed whilst they were alive, the medals can still be claimed now for service back to (and including) WWII. However, we require proof of death and kinship before the medals are issued. If you wish to apply, please complete the application form below AND the Certificate of Kinship form, and send both forms to the address stated.
Medal Application Form (For non -serving personnel)
MOD Medal Office
GL3 1 HW
The address provided is for written correspondence only, unfortunately we do not have the capacity to answer face to face enquiries.
Telephone enquiries about medals should be directed to the Joint Personnel Administration Centre (JPAC)
Free Phone: 0800 085 3600
Overseas Civ: +44 (0) 141 224 3600
Mil 94560 3600
Fax: 0141 224 3586