The MOD Medal Office
The demand for both current and historic campaign medals has risen sharply in recent years.

In order to cope with the demand, the Royal Navy, Army and RAF single Service Medal Offices were combined into the "Ministry of Defence Medal Office" in March 2005. The office now forms part of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency and since then, has dispatched over 200,000 medals.

Claiming for campaign medals
Service personnel receive their campaign medals during the course of their service. These are issued as part of their Service dress. If, however, after an individual leaves the Armed Forces and feels there is an outstanding entitlement to a medal then they should contact the MOD Medal Office. 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 for them after they had left the Services. Brown prepaid postcards were placed at post offices around the country; the intention was that ex-service personnel could complete the cards and send them off to initiate the claims for Medals. Although the availability of medals for wartime service was widely advertised at the time, many people, for a variety of reasons, did not claim their Medals. Now, over 60 years later, hundreds of veterans, or their next of kin, are making initial claims for Second World War medals, every month. They were, and still are, issued in the first instance free of charge for initial issue.

Medals can be issued to the legal next of kin of deceased ex-Service Personnel; however proof of kinship will be required.

To claim initial issue medals replace stolen/destroyed medals or find out if an individual is entitled to a medal, please write to the Medal Office at the address below. The following information (or as much as possible) is 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. If you have access to the internet you can email the Medal Office with these details to medals@spva.mod.uk

All claims are dealt with as quickly as possible by experienced Medal Office staff however, finding files from archives and verifying individual's records can take time as every detail has to be checked and double checked to ensure eligibility. Whatever the outcome, you will be notified.

Replacing campaign medals
Medals for campaign service are supposed to be treasured possessions, reflecting service to one's country and awarded by The Sovereign on behalf of a grateful nation. While their market value is often only superficial (though some can be quite valuable, particularly awards for gallantry), the recipient is expected to treat them with care and be mindful of their security. In view of this, once medals are issued they become the sole responsibility of the original recipient, or his/her next of kin. They will not, therefore, be replaced by the MOD if they are lost.

The only exception to this rule is if the medals are stolen or accidentally destroyed beyond the control of the owner, for example in a house fire. In these cases the MOD may replace the medal if proof of the loss is provided in the form of a Police Report or a claim to an insurance company. A charge is made for medals that are replaced to cover the cost of manufacture and a nominal charge for administration. It should be noted that in many cases the replacement medals will be stamped as such to avoid confusion with the originals should they ever be found.

Home Guard
Claims for medals for service in the Home Guard are also dealt with by the MOD Medal Office, however when requesting medals for this type of service, the address the recipient was living at when they signed up for Home Guard service needs to be supplied

Contact: The Ministry of Defence Medal Office at the following address:

Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA)
(Joint Personnel Administration Centre)
MOD Medal Office
Building 250
Imjin Barracks
Gloucester
GL3 1HW

Or contact the Veterans-UK helpline on 0800 169 2277. Remember to have your service number, date of birth and full name and address to hand.