Territorial Decorations and Medals
The Volunteer Force: In recognition of the valuable service rendered to their country by officers of the Volunteer Forces, Queen Victoria in 1892 instituted the Volunteer Officers' Decoration to be granted to 'efficient and capable' officers who had served with the Force for twenty years. In 1894, a Volunteer Long Service Medal was instituted to reward others who had completed the same terms of service, but did not have twenty years of commissioned service.
The Territorial Force: On the disbandment of the Volunteer Force and the establishment of the Territorial Force in 1908 both the Decoration and the Medal were superseded. In there place were substituted the Territorial Decoration for officers and the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal for soldiers.
The Territorial Army: In 1921, the Territorial Force became the Territorial Army. There was on change in the Territorial Decoration for officers, but the soldiers' Territorial Force Efficiency Medal changed its name to the Territorial Efficiency Medal. For officers, the terms of entitlement for the Decoration were reduced in 1949 from twenty years service to twelve years 'continuous efficient commissioned service' in the Force, now entitled the Territorial Army, with war service to count as double.
In the case of the Medal, the terms remained the same, twelve years service, provided men had undergone at least twelve trainings or camps.
The Territorial Decoration of 1908: The badge of the Decoration consists of an oval oak wreath in silver, tied with gold, and having in the centre the Royal Cypher, surmounted by the crown, both in gold. It is suspended from its ribbon by a silver ring. At the top of the ribbon there is a bar brooch. The ribbon is coloured dark green, with a yellow stripe running down the centre. Recipients were entitled to use the letters TD after their name.
In 1930, the word 'Territorial' was dropped from the title and the Decoration became known as the Efficiency Decoration. Holders in the United Kingdom were still entitled to put TD after their name. This Decoration has a suspender bar brooch with 'Territorial' on it. The ribbon remained the same.
The Medals of 1908 and 1930: The Medal, which is oval; bears on its obverse the head of the reigning sovereign, with the usual legend. The inscription 'Territorial Force Efficiency Medal' appears on the reverse, but from 1921-1922 the word 'Force' is omitted. In 1930, the medal was superseded by the Efficiency Medal, the only change in its design being, instead of a ring suspender, a bar bearing the work 'Territorial' was substituted.
The ribbon was originally the same as that of the Territorial Decoration, but in 1919 was changed to green with narrow yellow edges. Other Rank members of the Territorial Army who were serving on the outbreak of the Second World War could count their war service as double. As the War lasted nearly six years, practically everyone serving in the ranks of the Territorial Army on 2nd September 1939 became eligible for the Medal.
Women members became eligible in 1946 for the Medal under the same conditions as the men. Needless to say, in both World Wars soldiers were eligible for the Campaign and Service medals issued at the end of both conflicts. A great many earned gallantry decorations, including the Victoria Cross.
The Territorial Force War Medal: An indication of the spirit that prevailed among the Territorials before the outbreak of the First World War was recognised by the issue in 1920 of the Territorial Force War Medal. This medal was awarded to those members of the Force, including the Nursing Service, who had volunteered for service overseas before 30th September 1914 and who had rendered such service during the War, but did not qualify for the 1914 Star or the 1914-15 Star. The medal is in, bronze with a straight bar suspender, and the effigy of King George V on the obverse. On the reverse is the inscription 'The Territorial War Medal for Voluntary Service Overseas 1914-19'. The ribbon is ye1low with green stripes.
The Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve: In 1967, the name Territorial Army was changed to Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve, the resultant change to both Decoration and Medal being that the initials on the suspender bar in both cases were changed to read 'T & AVR'. The ribbon for the Decoration was, changed to dark blue and green, with a central stripe of yellow. An officer on whom the Decoration is conferred is entitled to the post nominal letters TD. For the Medal the ribbon was half blue and half green, edged with yellow.
In 1982, the T &A VR reverted to the old title 'Territorial Army' and the suspender bar for Decoration and Medal changed once more to read 'Territorial', but the ribbons introduced in 1967 for the T&A VR were retained. The Decoration and Medal are still today being conferred on eligible officers and soldiers of the Territorial Army.
When one considers the amount of training, often under very spartan conditions and inclement weather, together with the great deal of spare time that is willingly given by members of the Territorial Army, it is no wonder that they, both men and women, prize their medals and rightly wear them with pride.