Last year we looked at a Nigerian Defence Medal here. This was one of the first medals instituted by the newly formed nation of Nigeria following independence being granted and a bloody civil war that lasted throughout the 1960s. Other medals were also instituted at this time, including the subject of today’s post. The National Service Medal was awarded to those troops on the government’s side during the civil war against the secessionist Biafran people. The medal hung from a ring and a medal in stripes of dark blue, gold, light blue and red. My example unfortunately has the incorrect ribbon:
Ignoring the ribbon, the medal itself was originally in a bright brass finish, but without polishing this dulls down considerably. The front face of the medal has a map of the country and the wording around the outside indicates what the medal is:
The rear face of the medal has another outline of the country, this time surrounded with badges representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and the state:
Very little information is available about the award criteria for this medal, who received it or what they had to do to qualify. Nigerian medals are very cheap on the collector’s market being both common and collected by very few but they remain one of the easiest items of Nigerian militaria to find.