Wearing relatives' medals on Anzac Day
With Anzac Day rapidly approaching, many people remember deceased relatives by wearing their medals.
Here is some information from NZDF's medals and personnel team about the correct way to wear them.
The rules governing medal wearing in New Zealand, known as the Order of Wear, specifically allows family members to wear medals of deceased ex-service personnel on the right side of the chest for national days of memorial. This includes Anzac Day (25 April) and Armistice Day (11 November), as well as other military events where the host has added the note – “medals may be worn”. This includes reunions, formal dinners, funerals of veterans, and the like.
Conventions for wearing a relatives' medals include:
- Civilian members of the public should only wear one set of medals. The medals should be those of a direct relative, for example, should have belonged to a brother or sister, dad or mum, grandfather or grandmother. In all cases these are worn on the right chest.
- If there are more than one set of relatives medals held by the family, pass on medal sets for other family members to wear – this spreads the memory of that relative amongst the family. There are no rules that say only the eldest male descendent can wear these medals – the family can decide on any family member to be the medals wearer on the day.
- Multiple copy medal sets can be worn by the family on Anzac Day - this is common with miniature medals so all children of a deceased veteran can wear his or her medals in their memory.
- Only service medals and decorations mounted on a medal bar (full-size or miniature) can be worn by a relative. It is acceptable to wear a family member’s miniature medals mounted on a medal bar if preferred. This is a good option for young children.
- Royal Honours insignia such as neck badges, sashes, sash badges, or breast stars cannot be worn by anyone other than the original recipient. The same rule applies to any Unit and Personal Commendations that the deceased wore on their right chest.