HILLIARD, John G "Jack"

Display Number:  1401  
Name:  Hilliard  John G "Jack"
Rank:  Commodore Service Number:  
Date Joined:   Date Discharged:  1958

Jack Hilliard was a member of the Auckland Division of the Naval Volunteer Reserve and was working as a warehouse manager in Auckland when he was mobilised for active service in January 1940. Along with a group of other New Zealand reserve officers he was sent to the United Kingdom for further training and service in the Royal Navy. There, he commanded HMS Blackthorn, a Bay-class minesweeper. While serving in the Royal Navy he was Mentioned In Dispatches (MID) in 1941 and the Distinguished Service Cross in 1942 for 'outstanding zeal, patience, cheerfulness, and for never failing to setan example of wholehearted devotion to duty'. Apart from service in the Atlantic, Jack served in the Pacific during the war, and was awarded the Volunteer Officer's Reserve Cross (VRD) in 1944. After the war he was active in the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve reserve division in Auckland - HMNZS Ngapona - commanding it until his retirement in 1958. He was created a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) and also served as an Aide de Camp to several governor-generals' of New Zealand, including Lord Freyburg. 


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Medal Description (Left to Right):  
  • Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - Was established by King George V in June 1917 for services to the British Empire. In December 1918 the Order was split into two divisions: Civil division for civilian recipients; and a military division for distinguished service in action. The insignia of the award from both divisions is identical, distinguished only by their ribbons. The rose-gray ribbon with narrow pearl grey stripes shows it was awarded from 1936 onward under the military division of the award. 
  • Distinguished Service Cross - Awarded to junior naval officers and senior naval ratings for courage and devotion to duty on active service.
  • 1939-1945 Star - Recognises service in the Second World War. It was usually awarded for six months service in special operational areas. Those whose service was shortened by death, injury or capture or who were awarded a decoration or mentioned in despatches also qualified for the medal. Those who served a day or more in specified battles or invasions also qualified for this award. The ribbon has three equal vertical stripes of dark blue (symbolising Navy and Merchant Navy), red (symbolising Army) and light blue (representing Air Force).
  • Atlantic Star - Awarded to personnel who served an additional 6 months in Home (United Kingdom), Atlantic or North Russian waters after first qualifying for the 1939-45 Star. The ribbon is water silk coloured blue, white and green. These colours symbolise service in the Atlantic Ocean, and in UK and North Russian waters.
  • Pacific Star - The Pacific Star was awarded for operational service in the Pacific between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945.It was also awarded for certain specified service in China and Malaya (8 December 1941 - 15 February 1942), Hong Kong (8 December 1941 - 25 December 1941) and Sumatra (8 December 1941- 23 March 1942). The Green stripes on the ribbon symbolise the jungle while the central yellow stripe symbolises the beach. The outer red stripes symbolise the Army while the dark blue stripe symbolises the Navy and Merchant Navy and the light blue stripe symbolises the Air Force.
  • War Medal (with Mentioned in Despatches) - Awarded across the British Commonwealth to all fulltime members of the Armed Force for 28 days service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 irrespective of where they were serving. On one side is an effigy of King George VI. On the reverse is a lion trampling on a dragon symbolising the Axis powers. The ribbon is the red, white and blue of the (British) Union Flag. Attached to the ribbon is a bronze oak leaf which recognises being Mentioned in Despatches.
  • New Zealand War Service Medal - Awarded for 28 days' full time service or six months' part time service in any of the New Zealand Armed Forces, the New Zealand National Military Reserve or the Home Guard between 3 September  1939 and 2 September 1945. Eligible part time Home Guard Personnel must have completed their six months' part time service between 16 August 1940 and 1 January 1944 (the Home Guard was disbanded in December 1943). It was the first distinctively 'New Zealand' war service medal, which was emphasised by the use of the fern leaf motif on the suspender and the reverse of the medallion, and the national colours of black and white on the ribbon.
  • The Coronation Medal 1953 - Issued to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and was awarded to both military and civilian citizens of the British Commonwealth.
  • Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve Decoration (One Clasp) - Awarded to commissioned officers of the RNZNVR. Qualifying period of 15 years, of which 12 years must be efficient. Clasps are awarded for each additional 10 years service at least 7 of which must be efficient.