Harry Gould joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class in 1922. He served on cruisers HMS Chatham and Dunedin before being sent to the United Kingdom for a number of specialist courses in 1927. As an able seaman he was transferred from the cruiser HMS Diomede to HMS Achilles at Chatham in 1936 and returned to New Zealand. His remaining sea time was spent on Achilles, including the Battle of the River Plate where, for his conduct during the action, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. During his time on the ship he was also awarded the Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. He was discharged from service in the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1942.
- Distinguished Service Medal 1938-1949 - Instituted in 1914 for senior and junior ratings in the Navy. Awarded for acts of bravery in the face of the enemy for which the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal was not considered appropriate.
- 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.
- War Medal - 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.
- 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.
- Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal 1937-1948 - Originally awarded for 21 years exemplary conduct, but the period was reduced to 10 years in 1874, then later increased to 15 years. In March 1981 commissioned officers became eligible after 15 years service, provided at least twelve of those were served in the ranks.