Obverse Types



Obverse / Legend


George V 1 GV Crowned, in coronation robes. / GEORGIVS. V. D. G. BRITT. OMN. REX. ET. INDIAE. IMP. 1930 - 36
George VI 2 GVI 1 Crowned head / GEORGIVS GVI  D : G : BR : OMN : REX : ET INDIAE IMP : 1937 - 48
George VI 3 GVI 2 Crowned head / GEORGIVS GVI  DEI : GRA : BRITT : OMN : REX : FID : DEF 1949 - 52
Elizabeth II 4 EIIR 1 Tudor crowned head / ELIZABETH II D : G : BR : OMN : REGINA F. D. 1952 - 53
Elizabeth II 5 EIIR 2 Tudor crowned head / ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FID DEF 1953 -

Efficiency Medal

      Instituted 17th October 1930, this medal replaced the Territorial Efficiency Medal, the Militia Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and Commonwealth equivalents. Awarded for 12 years service in British Territorial or Militia units or their Commonwealth counterparts. Service in wartime counted double as did service in West Africa. This medal was terminated in 2000 and replaced by the Volunteer Reserve Service Medal.
      Description : an oval silver medal 39mm high by 32 mm wide. An ornate fixed suspension in the from of two laurel leaves bears a scroll pattern bar with the relevant title. Obverse; the crowned bust of the sovereign and legend. Reverse; plain apart from the inscription " FOR EFFICIENT SERVICE "

    Naming:  Sans-serif capitals, lettering can be quite uneven on some of the GVI issues.

    Bars: Four main types "Territorial" , " Militia" , " T & A V R " and the Commonwealth types. The  T & A V R bar  was introduced in 1969 following the creation of the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve, also at this time a new ribbon was  introduced (see below). In 1982 the "T & A V R" bar was abandoned and the Territorial bar reintroduced, but the new ribbon remained. Stitch on ribbon bars were also awarded for further complete periods of qualifying service, these are found with either a King's crown or Queen's crown as relevant to the issue period.

   Ribbons ; Three types, one of which is the special HAC type permitted to be worn by members of that regiment. (see below)

Ribbon Types
1930 - 1969 Honourable Artillery Company recipients  1969 -2000
Efficency Medal Ribbon 1930 - 1969 Efficiency Medal HAC Honourable Artillery Company Type Post 1969 Efficiency Medal Ribbon
Green with yellow edges Dark blue and scarlet, with yellow edges.
(This special ribbon was bestowed on the HAC
by King Edward VII for their Volunteer and Territorial
 medals and represents the King's racing colours)
Blue and green, with yellow edges


Bar type

Territorial Militia Commonwealth
(see table below)
T & A V R

Period of use

1930 - 1969
1982 - 2000
1930 - 1951 1930 - 2000 1969 -1982

Obverse Type N

GV, GVI type 1 & 2
EIIR type 1 & 2
GVI type 1 & 2
various combinations EIIR type 2


Commonwealth  Bars
Antigua Australia Barbados Bermuda
British Guiana British Honduras Burma Canada
Ceylon Dominica Falkland Islands Fiji
Gibraltar Gold Coast Grenada Guernsey
Hong Kong India Jamaica Jersey
 Kenya Leeward Island Malaya Malta
Mauritius Montserrat New Zealand Nigeria
Rhodesia / Nyasaland St Christopher Nevis St Lucia St Vincent
S. Rhodesia Trinidad / Tobago    
These Commonwealth bars range from common to exceptionally scarce, and individual types often only encountered with a limited range  (sometimes only one) obverse type.


1) The " Efficiency Medal " should not be confused with its predecessors;  the "Territorial Efficiency Medal " (1921 - 1930) and the " Territorial Force Efficiency Medal " (1908 - 1921)
2) Two similar medals also exist: the " Efficiency Medal (Army Emergency Reserve)" (1953 - 1967) as above but with a scroll bar "Army Emergency Reserve", and a South African (bilingual reverse) version (1939 - 1952) of the Efficiency Medal  which also has a bilingual scroll bar "Union of South Africa". these medals will hopefully be illustrated here, or on their own page in time.



GV Efficiency Medal Bar India GVI Efficiency Medal Bar India
 GV and GVI type 1 with Commonwealth ' INDIA ' bar
GVI Efficiency Medal Bar Territorial EIIR Efficiency Medal Bar T & A V R.

GVI 2nd Type "Territorial " bar & HAC ribbon.

EIIR 2nd type " T & A V R "  bar.
(only possible obverse with this bar)


Above; the common reverse.

Above; stitch on second award ribbon bar, King's crown type.
 (King's crown has a convex top, Queen's crown a concave top)


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Above; typical somewhat uneven naming as found on many GVI issue Efficiency Medals
2080247 Pte J. Philbin K.S.L.I.  ( The King's Shropshire Light Infantry )
Efficiency Medal Naming
Efficiency Medal GVI first Type bar Territorial to
' 4273348 Fsr.  J. N. Weatherston N.F. '
Fusilier Weatherston,  Royal Northumberland Fusiliers was
taken prisoner at Dunkirk 1940 and spent the war is Stalag 20b at Marienburg, Poland.
GV and early issue GVI first types show the battalion number for infantry units.
GV type to L-Sgt F. Lean , 2 B. B. & C. I. RY. R. A.I.F.
2nd Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway Regiment, Auxiliary Forces India.

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