Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

This medal was first instituted by King William IV in 1830. Read about the criteria needed in order to qualify for this medal. 


In order to qualify the criteria was:

  • being 21 years service from age 20
  • good conduct
  • Commanding officer’s recommendation
  • Within the quota – the quota was one medal per 100 men in Crew at end of a ships 3 year commission


In 1833 the quota rules were adjusted slightly to allow one medal for every
51 to 150 men, (i.e. 2 medals if 151 men borne were allowed). In 1853 age and service length changed in line with changes to pension rules, becoming 20 years service from age 18. In 1876 major changes were introduced. The quota system was abolished. Service time required to qualify was reduced to 10 years, from age 18. In addition good conduct and the CO’s recommendation was still required. In 1884 the service time required to qualify was raised back up to 15 years. It was in this format that the medal remained for almost 100 years.

1977 saw major changes to the policy. The age and service rules were once again changed and £20 gratuity was abolished. The age limit was now 17 ½ years. Provision was made for CFR Officers to remain eligible provided they served twelve years qualifying time as ratings.

(Note: These new rules did not come into effect in the RNZN in 1977)

In the 1970s New Zealand did not have a New Zealand version of the LS&GCM but relies on the wording of the United Kingdom Medal Warrant which authorises Commonwealth Navies to award the medal under the same rules as does the Royal Navy.

Steps have been taken to introduce an NZ LS&GCM, the rules of award for which will be in common with all other Long Service Awards made throughout the New Zealand Armed Forces. The introduction of the new rules awaits the Royal Approval and subsequent promulgation.

No official roll of the NZ Naval Forces recipients of the LS&GCM exists.
An interested Naval Officer has however, over the past five years compiled a roll from both official and private sources. He believes that he has recorded approximately 80% of all the awards. He has 417 recipients listed for the Regular Service LS&GCM and a further
153 recipients for the Reserves Long Service Medals.

Of the 417 Regular Service Medals known, only four have been awarded to Able Ranks. Of these one went on to earn a clasp to his medal (i.e. a further 15 years of Good Conduct), and another one was to lose his medal following a disciplinary conviction in 1941. The first known awards to New Zealanders were made in 1937 and 1938. A total of twenty clasps to the Medal are known to have been awarded. Six Medals are known to have been forfeited following convictions. None is known to have been presented by a Governor-General.

One recipient holds both the Regular Service Medal and the Reserves