This is my mother in 1944 or 1945. I never knew she was entitled to wear a medal ribbon. Being black and white, I have to take a guess based on the layout, and I think it may be the Defence Medal but I am puzzled by what seem to be horizontal bars. Has anyone any ideas?

(1) Defence Medal

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(2) My mother enter image description here

(3) Ribbon detail

enter image description here

  • 6
    Are you sure there are horizontal bars? It looks like (flash) light reflecting from the shiny surface of the fabric. – Steve Bird May 8 '20 at 12:49

Those "horizontal bars" are reflected light. Fresh medal ribbon is usually quite glossy, and can give reflections like that. The ribbon is for the Defence Medal.

The Defence Medal was more of a campaign medal than a bravery decoration, and several million were awarded. For UK residents, the qualification was 1,080 days of service in the UK, or 360 days overseas service in areas not subject to air attack or invasion, or 180 days overseas in threatened areas.

Incidentally, the picture is necessarily from 1945. The Defence Medal was not instituted until May 1945, and general issue probably took several months, while the subject was demobilised in late 1945.

  • 2
    Apologies - she was in the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). I have edited the question to remove the 'R'. – Michael Harvey May 8 '20 at 17:51
  • @MichaelHarvey: Thanks, updated. – John Dallman May 8 '20 at 18:25
  • I always believed my mother was demobbed in late 1945. – Michael Harvey May 8 '20 at 19:16
  • @MichaelHarvey: Added that too. – John Dallman May 8 '20 at 19:49

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