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You can search the records in Discovery, our catalogue, by filling in the form below. Nine types of medals were awarded to British merchant seamen who served in the Second World War and who met the qualifications for each medal.
Eight of them are searchable here whilst the ninth, the Arctic Star, was not awarded until 2012 and records of its award do not exist at The National Archives.
If they appear on the same page, you should only pay one fee.
A single oak leaf emblem attached to the War Medal ribbon denotes a Mention-in-Despatches; the silver oak leaf, a King’s Commendation for Brave Conduct.
The medals were claimed and issued from 1946 to 2002.
Medals were not automatically issued, but had to be claimed by the merchant seaman.
The Atlantic Star was also awarded to those awarded a gallantry medal, with no minimum qualifying period.
Generally the qualifying service period for the Burma Star could only begin after the 1939-1945 Star had been earned by six months’ service.The qualifying service period for the Atlantic Star could only begin after the 1939-1945 Star had been earned by six months’ service.A merchant seaman had to serve in the Atlantic, home waters, North Russia Convoys or South Atlantic waters.Awarded for service between 6 June 1944 and , in direct support of land operations in France, Belgium, Holland or Germany, in the North sea, the English Channel or the Bay of Biscay (service off the coast of the south of France could qualify for the Italy Star, see below).There was no minimum time qualification for a Merchant Seaman.