British Military & Criminal History:

1900 to 1999.



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The Naval General Service Medal (NGS) 1915-62 was instituted on 6 August 1915 for service in minor naval conflicts or operations.

The medal is worn with a crimson-coloured ribbon with three white stripes. After 11 August 1920, if the recipient was awarded a MID, then they were entitled to wear an oakleaf emblem on the medal's ribbon.

This medal has a total of 16 clasps which commemorate the various actions. The individual clasps are listed in the following table. Click on the name to read about the particular clasp.

Persian Gulf 1909-1914

This clasp was issued to the officers and men of HM Ships who were employed in the operations for the control of arms traffic in the Arabian Sea or Persian Gulf, north of Latitude 22N and west of Longitude 64E, between the dates 19 October 1909 and 1 August 1914.

Iraq 1919-1920

This award was granted to officers and men who served in River Gunboats within the area of Iraq between 1 July and 17 November 1920.

NW Persia 1919-20

Those qualifying for the NW Persia 1920 were originally issued with the bar NW Persia 1919-20. This clasp was later withdrawn and the recipients were then expected to return it.

NW Persia 1920

This clasp was awarded to the Officers and Men who served in the Naval Mission under Commodore D.T. Norris, CB, CMG, RN, in the North West Persia area between 10 August and 31 December 1920.

In September 1918 Commodore Norris commanded a flotilla with Russian Support and attacked the Turkish port of Baku on the Caspian Sea. By the end of the year the flotilla was threatened by the growing Bolshevik presence. This resulted in Commodore Norris attacking and defeating the Bolshevik ships. Control of the Caspian Sea retuned to the Russian after Commodore Norris' withdrawal in 1920.

Palestine 1936-1939

This clasp was awarded for service in connection with operations off the coast of Palestine between 19 April 1936 and 3 September 1939.

This clasp should not be confused with the numerous other Palestine clasps.

SE Asia 1945-46

This clasp was awarded for service within the date period and geographic area shown in the following list (both dates inclusive):

  • Java and Sumatra between 3 September 1945 and 30 November 1946.
  • French Indo-China between 3 September 1945 and 28 January 1946.

Minesweeping 1945-51

This clasp was issued for service in various minesweeping activities that occurred after the end of World War Two.

The various regions and the terminating dates of the qualifying periods are shown in the following list. The start date for all the qualifying periods was 3 September 1945.

  • East Indies, South West Pacific and China Coast up to 30 December 1946
  • Mediterranean (except Greek waters) and Gibraltar approaches up to 15 August 1947.
  • North West Europe and British Isles, with North Sea up to 30 October 1947.
  • The Red Sea up to 15 April 1948.
  • Greek Waters up to 30 September 1951.

Palestine 1945-48

This clasp was awarded for service off the Palestine coast in the period 27 September 1945 up to 30 June 1948. The British Mandate in Palestine expired at midnight on 14 May 1948.

Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945-53

This clasp was awarded for service in the disposal of bombs and mines in different parts of the world. The terminating dates varied with the geographic area and are shown below:

  • Hong Kong up to 16 December 1946.
  • Solomon Islands, New Guinea and Papua up to 28 April 1953.


This  clasp was issued for 28 days' service on ships patrolling off the Malaysian coast between 16 June 1948 and 31 July 1960. These operations were in support of operations against bandits, or one journey in a harbour defence launch, motor launch, or other small craft up a river, in the Malay Federation, in support of operations against bandits.

Yangtze 1949

This clasp was awarded to members of all three services (RN, Army and RAF) for operations in the Yangtze River against the Chinese Communist Forces between 20 April and 31 July 1949.

HMS Amethyst was ordered up to Nanking, during the Chinese Civil War, to relieve HMS Consort and to take up supplies to the British community based at Nanking.

On 20 April 1949, whilst steaming up the Yangtze River, she was heavily shelled by the Communist forces and driven ashore. In the course of this action, 17 of Amethyst crew were killed and 10 wounded including her commanding officer. HMS Consort, who made an attempt to help the Amethyst, arrived at Kiangyin with 44 casualties: 10 killed and 34 wounded.

The cruiser HMS London and frigate HMS Black Swan were ordered to proceed up the river to try and assist Amethyst. However, the fire from the Communist bank was so severe that both ships had to withdraw. During the attempt, HMS London suffered 15 killed and 17 wounded. HMS Black Swan had 5 wounded.

During these rescue attempts, the RAF flew a British and American doctor and a RN officer called Lieutenant-Commander J.S. Kerans to the Amethyst. Once he had arrived, Kerans relieved Lieutenant Weston, who had himself taken over command when the Amethyst's commander (Lieutenant-Commander Skinner) had been wounded. Lieutenant-Commander Skinner subsequently died of his wounds.

As negotiations with the Communist forces had become protracted, and Amethyst's supplies were running low, Lieutenant-Commander Kerans decided to attempt to escape. The attempt succeeded and the ship rejoined the fleet on 30 July 1949.

Bomb & Mine Clearance, Mediterranean

This clasps was instituted by Admiralty Fleet Order 1943 dated 27 July 1956 which stated that the Mediterranean Fleet Clearance Diving Team has, since 1 July 1955, been engaged in further bomb and mine clearance operations as dangerous as those which had earned the earlier Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945-53 clasp.

The majority of work centred in Malta's Valletta Harbour, where large quantities of bombs were recovered from a number of merchant vessels sunk during air raids on the harbour.


This clasp was awarded for the service in the suppression of various acts of terrorism during the emergency in Cyprus during the period 1 April 1955 to 18 April 1959. The majority of these clasps were awarded to Royal Marines.

Near East

This clasp was awarded for service in the Middle east in the period 31 October to 22 December 1956. This is the conflict often referred to as the Suez Crisis. This campaign also involved the Royal Navy's first use of helicopters in a conflict, flown from HMS Ocean and HMS Theseus.

Arabian Peninsula

This clasp was awarded for service in operations against dissidents and to counter border raids in the Arabian Peninsula. The qualifying period was 30 days service between 1 January 1957 and 30 June 1960.


This clasp was sanctioned by Admiralty Fleet Order 2283 dated 6 December 1963, in recognition of services in the Brunei operations. Qualifying service was one day or more between 8th and 23rd December 1962 on the posted or attached strength of a unit or formation which took part in the operations in the State of Brunei or in North Borneo. A significant number of these clasps were awarded to Royal Marines.

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