OLDFIELD, George Wiliiam

Display Number:  1409  
Name:  Oldfield  George William
Rank:  Chief Petty Officer Service Number:  PJ/X144336 (Royal Navy), NZ13309 (Royal New Zealand Navy)
Date Joined:  27th March 1935 (Royal Navy), 17th July 1950 (Royal New Zealand Navy) Date Discharged:  4th October 1949 (Royal Navy), 16th July 1960 (Royal New Zealand Navy)

George Oldfield joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class in 1935. He served in the battleships Royal SovereignKing George V, Howe, the battle cruiser Hood - where he was lucky to be discharged from her less than one month before her fatal encounter with DKM Bismarck - and also the cruiser Diadem. He left the Royal Navy in October 1949 as a Petty Officer. After less than one year he immigrated to New Zealand, joining the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1950 as an Able Seaman. From then he progressed to Chief Petty Officer; serving in cruisers Bellona and Black Prince, the frigate Kaniere, the shore establishments Philomel and Tamaki, as well as a secondment to, the then, Royal Fijian Navy in HMS Viti.  

 

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Medal Description (Left to Right):  
  • 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.
  • Africa Star (North Africa 1942-43 Clasp) - Awarded for service in North Africa between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943. The ribbon is pale buff in colour with a central vertical red stripe and narrower stripes, one dark blue and one light blue. The pale buff background symbolises the desert, the red stripe symbolises the Army, the dark blue stripe symbolises the Navy and Merchant Navy, while the light blue stripe symbolises the Air Force. New Zealand soldiers who were captured or killed in Greece or Crete in 1941 had qualified for this star before entering Greece. This was because they were based in Egypt on or after 10 June 1940, before being sent to Greece.
  • 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.
  • Italy Star - Awarded for operational service in Italy and adjacent countries between 11 June 1943 and 8 May 1945. The ribbon has 5 equal stripes of green, white and red, the national colours of Italy.
  • 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.
  • Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal 1949-1952 - 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.

 

  • 1939-1945 Star (Miniature) -Miniature version of the 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 (Miniature) - Miniature version of the 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.
  • Africa Star (North Africa 1942-43 Clasp) (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Africa Star with the clasp 'North Africa 1942-43'. Awarded for service in North Africa between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943. The ribbon is pale buff in colour with a central vertical red stripe and narrower stripes, one dark blue and one light blue. The pale buff background symbolises the desert, the red stripe symbolises the Army, the dark blue stripe symbolises the Navy and Merchant Navy, while the light blue stripe symbolises the Air Force. New Zealand soldiers who were captured or killed in Greece or Crete in 1941 had qualified for this star before entering Greece. This was because they were based in Egypt on or after 10 June 1940, before being sent to Greece.
  • Pacific Star (Miniature) - Miniature version of the 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.
  • Italy Star (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Italy Star. Awarded for operational service in Italy and adjacent countries between 11 June 1943 and 8 May 1945. The ribbon has 5 equal stripes of green, white and red, the national colours of Italy.
  • War Medal (Miniature) - Miniature version of the 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.
  • Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal 1949-1952 (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal issued between 1949 and 1952. 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.

Note: The Medallion shown on the bottom right without a ribbon, is a Stage one Lifesaving medal presented to G. W. Oldfield by the Royal Lifesaving Society.