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The NSWFB (Permanent) Long Service and Good Conduct Medal 1910 to 1970

Amendments to the Fire Brigades Act in 1909 saw the expansion of legislated fire protection to statewide coverage and the consequent establishment on 16 February 1910, of the New South Wales Fire Brigades (NSWFB, now Fire and Rescue NSW) which replaced the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB).

 

By 26 June 1912, all but one of the MFB medals had been awarded and with the name change to New South Wales Fire Brigades, new dies for the medal were necessary. The Board meeting of the same date discussed the requirements of the new die and agreed that only a new obverse die was required and that the new wording would be “New South Wales Fire Brigades”, rather than “NSW Fire Brigades”. Stokes & Sons quoted a new obverse die at £7:10:0 (approximately $1,090 today) and were ordered on 10 July 1912.

 

The new die was delivered by Stokes & Sons to the NSWFB on 28 August 1912, with a quote for 24 bronze medals at £7:6:0 (approximately $1,060 today), with the order being completed and medals delivered on 22 October 1912.

 


When the medal was awarded, it would include their name engraved on the edge bearing the recipients initials, surname, and date of the award. Similarly, the 30 Years Service bar was engraved on the rear with the recipient’s initials, surname, and year of award.

 

The first award of the bar was to Fourth Officer J Ford in 1914 after being appointed to the MFB in 1884.

 

Station Officer Joe Fitzsimmons receives his Long Service Medal from Mr Verilees, President of the NSW Fire Brigades Board of Fire Commissioners, 21 February 1969 [Museum of Fire Collection]

With the 1969 amendment to the Royal Warrant for the Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Imperial), which made it available to eligible full time and part time members of Australia’s Fire Brigades, the award of the NSWFB Long Service & Good Conduct (LS&GC) Medal would cease. In the In Order 1970/1 it informed and stipulated the conditions relating to the transition to the new medal:


In the light of the foregoing the issue of the Board’s Long Service Medal and bars thereto to permanent staff and volunteer firemen will cease as from 1st March, 1970, those members already in possession of the Board’s awards may retain those awards but it is to be noted that they must not be worn if a member has received Her Majesty’s Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.


In consequence of this In Order, the final day that a member may qualify for the award of the NSW Fire Brigades LS&GC Medal was on 28 February 1970.


The last member listed in the In Orders 1969/31 as being awarded the medal is - 1643 Station Officer E Stokes.

 

An estimation of the number of NSWFB LS&GC Medals and Bars awarded by 28 February 1970 is: 1162 Medals & 445 Bars.


- Story researched and written by SO Ian Grimwood AFSM

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