George Davis-Goff was a man who rose from Seaman Boy to Commodore. He joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1921 where he was sent to the United Kingdom to undertake torpedo training. He was the first New Zealand Division recruit to be promoted to Warrant Officer (in 1932) and later the first to be commissioned. in 1939 he was serving on HMS Achilles, commanding one of the torpedo tube plates during the Battle of the River Plate. In 1941 he was commissioned Acting Lieutenant. Serving in the cruiser HMNZS Leander, he took part in the Battle of Kolombangra. Later he served in HMNZS Gambia, including taking the surrender of the Japanese naval base at Yokosuka, where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for his service in the ship. For his command of the frigate HMNZS Hawea in 1952-53 during the Korean War, he was awarded a second DSC and was also mentioned in despatches (MID). Davis-Goff was appointed head of the New Zealand Joint Forces Liaison Staff in Melbourne in November 1953, and promoted to Captain. He was then appointed Naval Officer-in-Charge, Auckland and promoted to Commodore in 1957, the year he retired from the service. He was created a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by the New Zealand Government.
- Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - Was established by King George V in June 1917 for services to the British Empire. In December 1918 the Order was split into two divisions: Civil division for civilian recipients; and a military division for distinguished service in action. The insignia of the award from both divisions is identical, distinguished only by their ribbons. The rose-gray ribbon with narrow pearl grey stripes shows it was awarded from 1936 onward under the military division of the award.
- Distinguished Service Cross (One Bar) - Awarded to junior naval officers and senior naval ratings for courage and devotion to duty on active service. Bars were awarded for being awarded the DSC again.
- 1939-1945 Star - Recognises service in the Second World War. It was usually awarded for six months service in special operational areas. Those whose service was shortened by death, injury or capture or who were awarded a decoration or mentioned in despatches also qualified for the medal. Those who served a day or more in specified battles or invasions also qualified for this award. The ribbon has three equal vertical stripes of dark blue (symbolising Navy and Merchant Navy), red (symbolising Army) and light blue (representing Air Force).
- Atlantic Star - Awarded to personnel who served an additional 6 months in Home (United Kingdom), Atlantic or North Russian waters after first qualifying for the 1939-45 Star. The ribbon is water silk coloured blue, white and green. These colours symbolise service in the Atlantic Ocean, and in UK and North Russian waters.
- Pacific Star - The Pacific Star was awarded for operational service in the Pacific between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945.It was also awarded for certain specified service in China and Malaya (8 December 1941 - 15 February 1942), Hong Kong (8 December 1941 - 25 December 1941) and Sumatra (8 December 1941- 23 March 1942). The Green stripes on the ribbon symbolise the jungle while the central yellow stripe symbolises the beach. The outer red stripes symbolise the Army while the dark blue stripe symbolises the Navy and Merchant Navy and the light blue stripe symbolises the Air Force.
- The Defence Medal - Awarded to British military and civilian personnel for a range of service in the United Kingdom, and to British, British Commonwealth and British Colonial personnel who served outside their home countries in a non-operational area or in an area subject to threat such as air attack. The centre of the ribbon is flame coloured, and the edges are green, symbols of the enemy attacks on Great Britain. Two black stripes represent the blackout in Great Britain.
- War Medal (with Mentioned in Despatches) - Awarded across the British Commonwealth to all fulltime members of the Armed Force for 28 days service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 irrespective of where they were serving. On one side is an effigy of King George VI. On the reverse is a lion trampling on a dragon symbolising the Axis powers. The ribbon is the red, white and blue of the (British) Union Flag. Attached to the ribbon is a bronze oak leaf which recognises being Mentioned in Despatches.
- New Zealand War Service Medal - Awarded for 28 days' full time service or six months' part time service in any of the New Zealand Armed Forces, the New Zealand National Military Reserve or the Home Guard between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Eligible part time Home Guard Personnel must have completed their six months' part time service between 16 August 1940 and 1 January 1944 (the Home Guard was disbanded in December 1943). It was the first distinctively 'New Zealand' war service medal, which was emphasised by the use of the fern leaf motif on the suspender and the reverse of the medallion, and the national colours of black and white on the ribbon.
- The Korea Medal - Instituted in 1951 to recognise service in the Korean War. It was awarded to all British Commonwealth forces who took part in the war between 2 July 1950 and 27 July 1953.
- United Nations Medal (Korea) - Awarded for service during the Korean War (1 July 1950 to 27 July 1953) and for service in the first twelve months following the Armistice. It was manufactured in the language of each country that participated in the United Nations force in Korea. The ribbon is a blue background with a series of white stripes across its width. These are the basic colours of the United Nations.
- The Silver Jubilee Medal 1935 - This silver medal was issued to celebrate the silver jubilee of King George V (1911 - 1935).
- The Coronation Medal 1953 - Issued to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and was awarded to both military and civilian citizens of the British Commonwealth.