The New Zealand Defence Service Medal was instituted in April 2011 to recognise attested military service since 3 September 1945 … the Royal Warrant for the NZDSM allows for one or more clasps to be awarded with the medal … the number of clasps awarded to an individual will be determined by the type(s) of military service undertaken by the individual … there are four clasps which can be awarded: REGULAR, TERRITORIAL, C.M.T. and NATIONAL SERVICE

■ Ribbon : dark blue (Navy), crimson (Army), and light blue (Air Force) … light green stripes reflect the volunteer and territorial elements of the Services … ribbon attached to medal by fixed bar suspension

■ Obverse : New Zealand Coat of Arms, which is the symbol of the Crown and Executive Arm of Government, and which indicates that the medal specifically recognises service on behalf of New Zealand … fixed bar suspension

■ Reverse : on the right one large New Zealand fern frond … on the left are the emblems of the Navy (crown), Army (crossed swords) and Air Force (eagle) … these are the main elements of the Badge of the New Zealand Defence Force … the two fern fronds which normally form part of the Badge of New Zealand have been omitted to avoid the inference that the medal is an NZDF one, as opposed to a Royal Medal … also many of the recipients will have served in the armed forces prior to the formation of the NZ Defence Force … in the lower section of the reverse is the inscription THE NEW ZEALAND / DEFENCE SERVICE / MEDAL

■ Dimensions : 29.9 * 44.6 mm … ■ Weight : 22.5 g

■ Materials : bronze (with antique finish)

■ NB : a small silver rosette is worn on the ribbon to represent the award of a second clasp … two small silver rosettes are worn on the ribbon to represent the award of three clasps … image of award to my son Chris :)