SKYRME, Owen R J

Display Number:  0301  
Name:  Skyrme  Owen R J
Rank:  Commander (Supply and Secretariat) Service Number:  
Date Joined:   Date Discharged:  

Commander Owen Skyrme served on the cruiser HMNZS Gambia during operations of the Japanese coast in 1945. As Supply and Secretariat officer he was Mentioned in Despatches for his duties in the ship. He later had a long career in the navy in HMNZS Philomel and on the staff of the Commodore Auckland. After leaving the service he went into business and was prominent in the North Shore City local body government. For his services he was created an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) and served for a time as an Aide de Camp to the Governor General of New Zealand.

 

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Medal Description (Top Left to Bottom Right (Going across)):  
  • Officer 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. 
  • 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).
  • Burma Star (Pacific Clasp) - Awarded for service in the Burma campaign from 11 December 1941 to 2 September 1945. It was also awarded for certain specified service in China and Malaya (16 February 1942 - 2 September 1945), Hong Kong (26 December 1941 - 2 September 1945) and Sumatra (24 March 1942 - 2 September 1945). The centre of the ribbon is red (representing the Commonwealth Forces) with outer stripes of dark blue (representing British Forces). The dark blue bands each have at their centres a stripe of bright orange (symbolising the sun). Those who served in these areas after 8 December 1941, but prior to the starting dates mentioned, or served in the Pacific between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945 received the Pacific Star. Those who qualified for both were awarded both of these awards were given the first star they qualified for, with a clasp in respect of the second star.
  • 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 representing 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 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.

 

  • Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. It 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. 
  • 1939-1945 Star (Miniature) - Miniature version of the 1939-1945 Star. It 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).
  • Burma Star (Pacific Clasp) (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Burma Star with a Pacific clasp. Awarded for service in the Burma campaign from 11 December 1941 to 2 September 1945. It was also awarded for certain specified service in China and Malaya (16 February 1942 - 2 September 1945), Hong Kong (26 December 1941 - 2 September 1945) and Sumatra (24 March 1942 - 2 September 1945). The centre of the ribbon is red (representing the Commonwealth Forces) with outer stripes of dark blue (representing British Forces). The dark blue bands each have at their centres a stripe of bright orange (symbolising the sun). Those who served in these areas after 8 December 1941, but prior to the starting dates mentioned, or served in the Pacific between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945 received the Pacific Star. Those who qualified for both were awarded both of these awards were given the first star they qualified for, with a clasp in respect of the second star.
  • War Medal (with Mentioned in Despatches) (Miniature) - Miniature version of the War Medal, with a Mentioned in Despatches insignia. 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 representing being Mentioned in Despatches.
  • New Zealand War Service Medal (Miniature) - Miniature version of the 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 Coronation Medal 1953 (Miniature) - Miniature version of 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.