General Service Medal (1962)

General Service Medal (1962)

Obverse (left), reverse (right)
Awarded by United Kingdom and Commonwealth
Type Campaign medal
Eligibility British and Commonwealth forces.
Awarded for Campaign service.
Campaign Minor campaigns 19622007
Description Silver disk, 36 mm diameter.
  • Cyprus 1963-64
  • Borneo
  • Radfan
  • South Arabia
  • Malay Peninsula
  • South Vietnam
  • Northern Ireland
  • Dhofar
  • Lebanon
  • Mine Clearance, Gulf Of Suez
  • Gulf
  • Kuwait
  • N. Iraq & S. Turkey
  • Air Operations Iraq
Established 6 October 1964
Related Naval General Service Medal (1915),
General Service Medal (1918),
General Service Medal (2008)


Ribbon with bronze oak leaf for Mentioned in Dispatches

The General Service Medal (1962 GSM, also sometimes referred to as the Campaign Service Medal), was introduced in 1962 to combine the General Service Medal (1918), as awarded to the Army and RAF, and the Naval General Service Medal (1915). The 1962 GSM was awarded until 2007, when it was replaced by the Operational Service Medal. In 2015 the General Service Medal (2008) was introduced.


Awarded to personnel involved in an arduous campaign or well fought operation when servicemen would on occasion have to shoot at the opposition, other than purely for self-defence.

GSMs have the name, rank, service number and regiment or corps of the awardee annotated on the rim of the medal.


14 Clasps were awarded to the 1962 GSM. The maximum awarded to any one individual appears to have been six.[1]

Cyprus 1963-64

As a result of the 2012 Independent Medal Review conducted by Sir John Holmes, from 1 March 2015 a Cyprus clasp will be awarded to those servicemen who served in Cyprus during the period 21 December 1963 to 26 March 1964.[2] Personnel who have served a tour of duty after this time period are usually awarded the United Nations Medal as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, who took over peacekeeping duties and patrol from 1964.


Awarded to British, Australian and New Zealand land, sea and air forces fighting Indonesian soldiers, marines and irregular elements in Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak in East Malaysia, during Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation including Operation Claret.
This conflict claimed the lives of 114 Commonwealth personnel with 180 wounded. Recipients were subsequently awarded the Malaysian Pingat Jasa Malaysia.


Awarded to members of 815 Naval Air Squadron, sailors on HMS Centaur, and soldiers and RAF aircrew that were involved in the campaign mounted by British personnel, with Federation troops, against the Egyptian/Yemeni backed Radfan tribesmen. They were quickly and effectively defeated.

South Arabia

This campaign is related to the Radfan Campaign, because both were Egyptian-inspired attempts to end the British presence in Aden and end the embryonic Federation of South Arabia.
This 3 year long campaign saw numerous terrorist attacks on both civilian and military targets. In both Rafan and Aden, the British Army suffered 90 personnel killed and 510 wounded.
The qualifying period was 30 days service in the Federation of South Arabia between 1 August 1964 and 30 November 1967.

Malay Peninsula

This campaign was an extension of the conflict in Borneo where British and Malaysian troops were operating against Indonesian insurgents. In 1964, the Indonesian President decided to attack the Malaysian mainland. Parachute landings were made in Johore while other troops managed to land across the Malacca Straits from Indonesian Sumatra.
It was for operations in Malaysia and surrounding waters against these troops that this clasps was instituted, as opposed to the concurrent Borneo operations.
The qualifying period was 30 days' service in the Malaysian Peninsula-Singapore area between 17 August 1964 and 11 August 1966.

However, the qualifying period does not include jungle training prior to deployment to combat operations even if the training took place in Borneo. Personnel based on Singapore from 8 August 1965 are also not qualified as Singapore, which had been a part of the Federation of Malaysia, became independent.

South Vietnam

This clasp was instituted by Royal approval on the 16 December 1965 for "members of our Australian Armed Forces who qualify by participation in operations in defence of the Republic of Vietnam as from 24 December 1962, and to a date to be determined,..." Between 1963 and 1965, at least 68 members of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) and 232 members of the RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam qualified for the clasp. However, a decision of 1966 relating to the institution and award of the Vietnam Medal led to the stripping of the award from the RAAF personnel. A Royal Warrant dated 8 June 1968 [3] retrospectively changed the qualifying periods to:
Between 24 December 1962 and 29 May 1964,
  • 30 days' service in ships operating in inland waters or off the Vietnamese coast.
  • 1 day in the service of a land unit.
  • 1 operational sortie.
  • 30 days' service on an official visit.
For service after 29 May 1964, personnel were awarded the Vietnam Medal. Thus, only 68 clasps were issued, and all 68 went to AATTV members. The clasp was only awarded to Australian personnel.[4]

Northern Ireland

This clasp was instituted for award to personnel involved in varying operations in Northern Ireland during The Troubles.
The general qualifying period is a minimum of 30 days' service between 14 August 1969 and 31 July 2007. The 30 days' service does not have to be composed of consecutive days. Should the qualifying period be cut short due to injury or death, then the completed days are counted as sufficient for the award of this clasp.


In 1965 the mountain tribesmen of Dhofar, a province of Oman, rose in revolt against the regime of Sultan Sa'ib bin Taimur. The revolt worsened in 1967 when the British left the adjacent State of Aden. The new communist government in Yemen provided an important base for the rebels.
By 1970 it was clear that the Sultan would lose the war unless some action was taken. On 23 July 1970, the Sultan's son staged a coup which provided the required change of direction. Some of the previous Sultan's excesses were removed, and the new leader expanded his armed forces and requested British assistance.
The British Special Air Service (SAS) provided training for his local forces, the Royal Artillery provided mortar locating radars and a sound ranging base at Salalah, the Royal Engineers provided military and civil engineering, and RAF officers provided the backbone of the new Sultan's air force. The Royal Air Force Regiment (RAF Regiment) provided a continuous presence at the MOB in Salalah from 1970 to 1976. In addition to these contribution, many British officers were seconded to the Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF). As well as the British contribution, Jordan and Iran also provided assistance.During that time the Royal Signals provided support to the RAF airfield.
During this period, the British forces suffered 24 killed and 55 wounded.
The qualifying period for service was between 1 October 1969 and 30 September 1976.


In 1982, in attempt to remove PLO bases which were attacking Israel, Israel invaded Lebanon and struck north towards Lebanon's capital Beirut. However, they quickly became embroiled in the local Lebanese politics.
In October 1982, a US-inspired multinational peacekeeping force was sent into Beirut. It was composed of troops from US, France, Italy and UK. Though all the other contingents suffered casualties (241 US Marines in one attack and 58 French troops in another suicide attack), the British troops carried out their assignments with no loss of life.
However, as the force was increasingly becoming just a target for the various factions, it was withdrawn during February - March 1984.

Mine Clearance, Gulf Of Suez

For service in the Gulf of Suez between 15 August 1984 and 15 October 1984.


For service between 17 November 1986 and 31 October 1988 in the Persian Gulf during the Iran/Iraq War. RN Ships tasked to the Armilla Patrol escorting civilian shipping through the Straits of Hormuz whilst under threat from Iranian Forces and also carrying out mine countermeasures in the Persian Gulf up to 28 February 1989.


For service in Kuwait between 8 March and 30 September 1991.

N. Iraq & S. Turkey

For service in Northern Iraq or Southern Turkey between 6 April 1991 and 17 July 1991.

Air Operations Iraq

Awarded to RAF personnel and some members of the Army (mainly Royal Engineers and attached personnel) also Royal Navy personnel were awarded it for patrolling the no fly zones and airfield repair in Iraq.[5] Also Awarded to members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) who served on the Arabian Gulf Ready Tanker (AGRT) during above dates


  1. Medals Yearbook 2005, p195
  3. Retrieved 6 Oct 2012
  4. "General Service Medal 1962". Australian Government Department of Defence. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  5. "General Service Medal". British Army. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.

External links


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