HC Deb 03 November 1919 vol 120 cc1139-40W
Brigadier-General COLVIN

asked the Secretary of State for War whether any decision has yet been arrived at with regard to the issue of a medal to those officers and men whose services during the War were confined to this country?


No, Sir; the question is still under consideration.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will make a clear statement as to the attitude taken up by the War Office in awarding a medal to the Young Men's Christian Association workers and other non-combatants, and in persistently refusing to recognize the services of officers, non-commissioned officers, and men who enlisted voluntarily in tile early stages of the War, but who, through medical grounds, or for purposes of instruction, anti-aircraft duties, etc., were detained at home during the whole period of the struggle, but who were none the less engaged in constant arduous work, which often entailed great personal sacrifices, and in many cases repeatedly asked to be sent abroad but were refused


A commemorative war medal is essentially a token intended to show that the recipient fulfils certain specified conditions of service in a war zone. The British Isles were, during the War, spared front being included in such a zone. It is in accord both with precedent, and, I think, equity, that civilians who have rendered necessary service in a theatre of war to the troops engaged therein should be rewarded by a token of the same nature. A distinction is made between fighting and non-fighting services by the award of clasps. With regard to the later part of the question, I have previously stated on several occasions that the question of the award of a General Service Medal to those who have rendered service outside a. theatre of war is receiving consideration, and I hope to be able to make an announcement shortly.