FITZGERALD, Edward "Eddie"

Display Number:  1502  
Name:  Fitzgerald  Edward "Eddie"
Rank:  Chief Petty Officer Service Number:  171331
Date Joined:   Date Discharged:  

"Eddie" Fitzgerald served in the Royal Navy, being awarded the Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal during the reign of King Edward VII (1901-1910). He joined the battle cruiser HMS New Zealand for her 1913 visit to her namesake country and then served with her during the First World War. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) for services rendered in action at the Battle of Jutland of 31st May-1st June 1916 in the North Sea. He was also present on HMS New Zealand at the two other major surface actions of the war, the battles of Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank.


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Medal Description (Left to Right):  
  • Distinguished Service Medal - Instituted in 1914 for senior and junior ratings in the Navy. Awarded for acts of bravery in the face of the enemy for which the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal was not considered appropriate.
  • 1914-15 Star - Awarded to servicemen and servicewomen who served between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915 in any "theatre of war", provided they had not qualified for the 1914 Star. Those eligible for the medal must have 'served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war' during the relevant dates of operations in that area. This included service in Gallipoli (25 April 1915 - 31 December 1915), Egypt (5 November 1914 - 31 December 1915) and service during the capture of German Samoa on 29 August 1914.
  • British War Medal - Recognises the successful conclusion of the First World War. Its coverage was later extended to recognise service until 1920, recognising mine clearing operations at sea, and participation in operations in North and South Russia, the eastern Baltic, Siberia, the Black Sea and the Caspian.
  • Victory Medal - Was issued to all those who had already qualified for the 1914 Star or the 1914-15 Star, and to most persons who had already qualified for the British War Medal. It was awarded to all New Zealand troops serving overseas, except for those who arrived in Samoa after 30 August 1914 and those serving in Great Britain only. It is also sometimes referred to as the "Allied War Medal", because the same basic design and double rainbow ribbon were adopted by 13 other allied nations.
  • Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal - Originally awarded for 21 years exemplary conduct, but the period was reduced to 10 years in 1874, then later increased to 15 years. In March 1981 commissioned officers became eligible after 15 years service, provided at least twelve of those were served in the ranks.
  • Handmade Medal - Australian one penny coin made into a medallion.


  • Commemorative Medallion - Commemorates the Battle of Jutland.
  • Commemorative Medallion - Presented to all officers and men in HMS New Zealand during the visit of 1913.
  • Commemorative Medallion - Copper medallion given to ships company of HMS New Zealand during the visit of 1913.