Issued to service personnel for three years' service at home or six months' service overseas in territories subject to air attack or otherwise closely threatened within the period 3rd September 1939 to 8th May 1945 in Great Britain and forces overseas until the end of hostilities on Sept. 1945. This medal was also issued to a large number of civilians who formed part of the recognised defence units such as the Home Guard, National Fire Service and Civil Defence. It could be given singly or as part of other World War 2 awards.
The obverse shows an uncrowned effigy of King George VI and on the reverse are two lions flanking a crowned oak sapling with the dates at the sides and wavy lines, representing the sea, below.
The ribbon has two broad bars of green (this green and pleasant land) superimposed by narrow stripes of black (the black-out), with a wide band of orange (fire-bombing) in the centre.