On behalf our Patron Arnold Schwartzman, Tony Morland and myself as co-Chairmen of the UK National Defence Medal Campaign, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a happy and a healthy New Year.
You may recall that through the Freedom of Information Act requests we discredited the disgraceful MoD paper based medal review, which turned down the institution of a UK National Defence medal and dismissed the medallic recognition of the Arctic Convoy veterans and those of Bomber Command. We were instrumental in the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister dismissing the findings of this MoD flawed review, which had been carried out on behalf of the Coalition Government, and in them directing a new independent review be carried out by Sir John Holmes. This provided the opportunity during 2012 for all Service medal campaign groups to have their individual cases reassessed.
Part One was completed December 2012 and vindicated all of our efforts in getting the Government’s medal review reopened; an Arctic Convoy Star is to be struck and recognition of Bomber Command through a medal clasp is to be made.
Sadly in 2012 we experienced the passing of more of our NDM campaigners and many more service veterans. However, we must continue to be patient and hope Sir John recommends in Part Two of his review, the institution of the UK National Defence Medal to the Prime Minister in the early part of 2013. Thereby recognising the justifiable case of those who have kept the Nation safe and secure since the ending of the Second World War and made the 2012 Diamond Jubilee and London Olympic Games celebrations possible.
Best wishes to you all,
Colonel Terry Scriven (Retd)
UK National Defence Medal Campaign
National Defence Medal campaigners have welcomed the publication of Sir John Holmes Medal Review, which has been completed as part of the Coalition Governments’ commitment to rebuilding the Military Covenant.
The report officially accepts, for the first time, the significant difference between the NDM, which seeks to recognise the service of members of the Armed Forces and medals awarded for war and specific campaigns.
Sir John recommends the institution of a UK National Defence Medal is worthy of further investigation and that a working group, under the auspices of the Cabinet Office, should be established in late summer to carry out this work and to report in the Autumn to Government.
Armed Forces veterans representing the NDM campaign look forward to supporting the Cabinet Office working group during the coming months.
It is understood that the working group is to look at how other countries such as Australia and New Zealand have instituted medallic recognition of service in their Armed Forces through the award of a defence medal by Her Majesty the Queen..
The UK National Defence Medal seeks to officially recognise the risk and rigour of daily service life; the absence of medallic recognition of those involved in keeping the nation safe and secure during significant past events such as the Cold War, Berlin Airlift, Nuclear Testing and National Service.
The award of the defence medal also recognises the Armed Forces as the Service of last resort within a ‘can do culture. Used to establish and assist in the operation of prisons, act as an auxiliary fire service or more recently be prepared to provided tanker drivers to deliver fuel during industrial disputes; provide an additional emergency service in extreme weather conditions such as snow, floods; dealing with the threat to communities from outbreaks of contagious animal diseases or providing a security life line to the Olympic games. The demands are endless and often come when the service are already over stretched due to operational commitments.
Consequently the impact on servicemen and women is significant and wide ranging; loss of leave; extended working hours; atrocious living conditions; disruption to family life and invariably carrying out the work of those on strike who are on substantially greater remuneration or working alongside non service personnel who are in receipt of additional financial awards.
Click HERE to view full report.
Film Director and Patron of the National Defence Medal campaign, Arnold Schwartzman OBE, flew into London from Los Angeles for a meeting with Sir John Holmes GCVO, KBE, CMG. Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Sir John to review the rules and principles governing the award of military medals as part of the commitment by the Coalition Government to address the inconsistency and injustice of medallic recognition during the past 67 years. Also at the meeting were our National Defence Medal campaign Co-Chairmen.
Service veterans who participated in the hazardous Berlin Airlift; National Servicemen who were compulsorily taken away from their homes; veterans involved in nuclear testing without protective clothing; those involved in the Cold War which saw hundreds of servicemen and women killed on duty and thousands injured; and Armed Forces personnel, including their families who were subjected to attacks on the UK mainland and in Europe by Republican terrorists, consider their contribution to keeping the Nation safe and secure has been totally ignored by successive governments.
Mr Schwartzman a former national serviceman who saw service in Korea with the Royal Sussex Regiment said, “We are delighted that after many years of campaigning we have at last been able to have our substantial case for the National Defence Medal independently assessed in the medal review. We now await Sir John’s report, which we believe will make recommendations to the Prime Minister in the next few weeks.
It is understood that senior officers within the Ministry of Defence although recognising the important and difficult job carried out in defending the nation and its interests at home and abroad, are at present reluctant to support the introduction of the medal.
If agreed by the Coalition Government the next step would be to seek approval from The Queen before it can be awarded. However, it is becoming more and more unlikely that even if approved, it will be in time for this years Remembrance Day parades.
It was made clear Her Majesty as Queen of Australia and of New Zealand already awards a defence medal to those who serve and have served in their Armed Forces.
Click HERE to see a copy of the NDM submission refered to during the meeting.
A new campaign has been started on the forces Reunited website:
It is another tool we can use to assist ensuring the message reaches as wide an audience, we do of course wish it well.
It can help if publicised enough, remember we have limited resources to get the word about. However, we encourage all visitors to the site to click on the link and spend a couple of minutes registering, it is free.
It is worth pointing out to doubters that the cost of the medal will be minimal to the public purse if the Government follow our suggestions.
Follow us on twitter: @NDM_UK
THE GOVERNMENT’S (MoD) MEDAL REVIEW - UK NDM COMMENTS
You may recall that as a result of the efforts by the Chairmen of the National Defence Medal Campaign the Ministry of Defence Medal review, part of the Coalition Government’s commitment, to rebuild the broken Military Covenant, was discredited. This resulted in both the Prime Minister and his Deputy refusing to endorse the review report and it being returned to the Ministry of Defence to consult with veterans.
The Ministry of Defence have still failed to consult but sent the findings of its discredited report to representatives of the various Medal campaigns for comment. The NDM submitted their comments (NDM comments document), it also recommended that the Medal review be reconstituted under an independent chair, it widens it’s terms of reference, consults widely with stakeholders including veterans, it takes into account recommendations by the Military Covenant Commission’s report and fulfils the Conservative Party’s election manifesto commitment and that of the Coalition Government.
Where are we now?
The closing date for comments was 30th June and the NDM campaign comments met that deadline. In addition to them being sent to the MoD review team, copies were sent to and have been received by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence. Unfortunately despite our requests, there is still no information in respect of the process for reviewing the comments submitted. Indeed, since the submission of the NDM campaign comments, over three weeks ago (24thJune), there has been no correspondence from the Ministry of Defence on the matter.
The NDM campaign team have however continued to be active. There have been responses to our various Freedom of Information Act requests: we now know from the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency that records of all those who have been issued with the MoD veterans identification lapel badge are not held; we know from the Cabinet Office that they and the Honours and Decorations Committee hold no information on the extension of the ‘Five Year rule from covering gallantry awards to all medals awarded to the Armed Forces as previously claimed by the Ministry of Defence.
The Ministry of Defence are still claiming, despite evidence to the contrary, that the terms of reference they set for the Medal review were in accordance with the Coalition’s Programme for Government. Interestingly, the MoD have not replied to an FOI request in respect of the remit the Coalition Government gave them to carry out the Medal Review; we will continue to push for an answer. For the first time we now have in writing, which is surprising in this era of greater government transparency, that the MoD considered there was no requirement to formally announce the commencement of the Medal review or publish the terms of reference.
Through the work of the NDM campaign the Medal Review is still very much alive. In response to one newspaper in the last few days (The NEWS) a Ministry of Defence spokesperson stated, “It could take many months until the review is finally settled. We are working with veterans. The review is on going and there is no date for when it will end.”
The case for the UK National Defence Medal is substantial. Both our Chairmen and I have offered to work with the Ministry of Defence to help take this Medal Review forward and regardless how long it takes we will continue to press for a reconstituted review, which is independently chaired and consults broadly.
Arnold Schwartzman, OBE, RDI, FRSA. Patron UK National Defence Medal Campaign
Pre 16th May 2011
The background and arguments on the case for certain medals, such as the institution of
a National Defence Medal, are well known and understood by Ministers and officials
and will be fully considered. At this time, I do not believe there is a requirement for
further consultation during this review." The review is complete the conclusions should be announced shortly after Easter.
Post 16th May 2011
A draft medal review has now been completed by the Ministry of Defence. In line with the Government's Transparency Agenda, the relevant elements of the report will shortly be sent to representatives of the various medal campaign groups, including for the National Defence Medal, that have pressed in recent years for recognition for service which they consider has gone unacknowledged. This will provide an opportunity for us to consider the views of the various campaign groups up to the 30th June 2011.
This was NOT consultation, the review was COMPLETE. There are to be no revised Terms of Reference, no independent chair, or even any suggestion that one word of the review completed back in January will be changed.
NDM Motion Unanimously Passed
Well done to the Col. Terry Scriven (Rtd) for delivering such a passionate and moving speech at the LibDem conference in Liverpool. As the opening motion of the event all eyes were on Terry, but the pressure did not show. Then one after another the other speakers took turns in reinforcing the message. The conference unanimously passed the motion. A fantastic result, and a clear message to the nation and the Government.
Welcome to the UK National Defence Medal (NDM) campaign homepage.
The site will give you an insight into why we are demanding full official recognition for our proud Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and Airmen who have protected our nation through all types of political turmoil since the Second World War.
It is our belief that an NDM is a reasonable and proper way for the nation to demonstrate to all HM Armed Forces that their service is appreciated. A small token of recognition for putting themselves at the mercy of the Country's leaders in the hope it will act in the citizens best interests. A medal that can be "officially" worn on parade with pride.
The Veterans Badge is an unofficial MoD offering and it's purpose is different from the NDM. We see it however, as a first step to proper recognition.
"There's nothing more important to troops than a medal - they are incredibly emotive and they mean the world to soldiers.”
Patrick Mercer, MP for Newark, and former infantry commander – Daily Telegraph 19/04/2008
Early Day Motion (EDM327)
Although the EDM is now closed it can still be used as evidence to new parliamentarians as to the level of political support. Post election we will all need to re-engage our Members of Parliament to remind them of their promises.
The new Government should signal the start of a process that finally leads to the House of Commons doing the right thing. As our representatives, their role is to give us a voice and take up our grievances. Refusal to properly engage and act is no less than a dereliction of their duty.
EDM327 reached 184 Signatures!
The shame surrounding the MOD has increased since they made the decision not to recognise the service of the millions of Servicemen and women who have become our ‘Forgotten Heroes’ by the award of a National Defence medal.
This comes at a time of great outpouring of support for our Armed Services by the public and a professed support for restoring the military covenant by the Government and the leaders of all political parties.
Evidence of appropriate recognition for the award of a medal and not just a badge to those who have served in the Armed Forces since the end of the Second World War is overwhelming. The reasons for non-recognition are shallow at best.
The lack of recognition of our ‘Forgotten Heroes’ includes service in Korea (post armistice); the Berlin Airlift; the Cold War, where hundreds of our service men and women died on duty and many more were discharged as a result of their injuries; the IRA atrocities outside of Northern Ireland which saw our soldiers killed and maimed on the streets of Germany and in England, and of course National Service veterans who are now in their 70s and 80s; the list is endless.
Colonel Terry Scriven, Co-Chairman of the National Defence Medal campaign said, “The MOD’s decision is dreadfully wrong. I hope that as this campaign grows with public support the Government, whose responsibility it is to decide on a medal of recognition of service, will speedily review this situation just as they did with the Ghurkha campaign.
FORCES sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn has got behind a veteran campaigners quest for medal recognition for all members of the armed forces. Roy Wilson wants a National Defence Medal (NDM) created for everyone who has served in the armed forces since the end of the Second World War.
The British Government has never considered service in the Armed Forces as the sole justification for an honour.
The liaison officer for National Service Veterans Association charmed the 92-year-old wartime songstress at the London Poppy Appeal launch, in Horse Guards Parade, in central
The whole NDM team wish to thank Roy, Dave and Eddie for their amazing effort.
An enthusiastic and successful march to
Petition to say THANKS
Please sign our petition Thanking our Armed Forces, and requesting they are properly Honoured (Almost 2000 signatures so far).
Sorry petition now closed !!
As a former National Serviceman who served with the RAEC at
Read the full letter, Click Here.
Archaic honours and awards system
The National Defence Medal campaign exposes the gross injustice by this government towards those both willing and called upon to defend the freedoms which they and everyone else enjoys. Whilst other Commonwealth countrys' are now striking medals for their brave and dedicated service personnel in recognition of their service and for the sacrifices, the
By A. Davies (click on image for full article)