The medal was instituted in 1918 to award service in minor campaigns that do not warrant a separate medal. The medal depicts the effigy of the reigning sovereign on the obverse, the reverse shows a winged figure of Victoria with a trident in one hand and a wreath in the other.
Bars can be issued for service in the following countries: Iraq, Kurdistan, N.W. Persia, S. Persia, Northern Kurdistan, "Southern Desert: Iraq" at various dates from 1918 onwards; Palestine for service within its borders or those of Trans-Jordan between April 19th, 1936 and September 3rd, 1939; S.E. Asia 1945-46; Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945-49; Palestine from 1945 to 1948 and finally Malaya for service of at least one day on the ground from June 16th 1948 or, in the case of the RAF, for one operational sortie. For Worlod War Two only the clasps "SE Asia 1945-46", "Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945-49" and "Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945-46" are of any importance.