MITCHELL, Robert Niven

Display Number:  0708  
Name:  Mitchell  Robert Niven
Rank:  Telegraphist Service Number:  NZ4492
Date Joined:  26th August 1942 Date Discharged:  12th September 1945

Robert Mitchell was recruited as a member of a scheme requested by the Royal Navy for skilled telegraphists - radio operators - to serve. After initial training in New Zealand he served in shore establishments in the United Kingdom from October 1940 - October 1944. For this service in the United Kingdom he was Mentioned in Despatches (MID). Mitchell then returned to New Zealand and served in the shore establishment Philomel until his discharge, apart from a short period seconded to the Royal New Zealand Air Force 


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Medal Description (Left to Right):  
  • 1939-1945 Star (Miniature) - Miniature version of the 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).
  • Africa Star (North Africa 1942-43 Clasp) (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Africa Star with a'North Africa 1942-43' clasp. Awarded for service in North Africa between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943. The ribbon is pale buff in colour with a central vertical red stripe and narrower stripes, one dark blue and one light blue. The pale buff background symbolises the desert, the red stripe symbolises the Army, the dark blue stripe symbolises the Navy and Merchant Navy, while the light blue stripe symbolises the Air Force. New Zealand soldiers who were captured or killed in Greece or Crete in 1941 had qualified for this star before entering Greece. This was because they were based in Egypt on or after 10 June 1940, before being sent to Greece.
  • Pacific Star (Miniature) - Miniature version of the 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.
  • Italy Star (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Italy Star. Awarded for operational service in Italy and adjacent countries between 11 June 1943 and 8 May 1945. The ribbon has 5 equal stripes of green, white and red, the national colours of Italy.
  • France and Germany Star (Miniature) - Miniature version of the France and Germany Star. Awarded for service in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and adjacent areas between 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945. The ribbon has five equal stripes of blue, white and red. These are the national colours of the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.
  • The Defence Medal (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Defence Medal. Awarded to British military and civilian personnel for a range of service in the United Kingdom, and to British, British Commonwealth and British Colonial personnel who served outside their home countries in a non-operational area or in an area subject to threat such as air attack. The centre of the ribbon is flame coloured, and the edges are green, symbols of the enemy attacks on Great Britain. Two black stripes represent the blackout in Great Britain.
  • War Medal (with Mentioned in Despatches) (Miniature) - Miniature version of the War Medal with a Mentioned in Despatches insignia. 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 recognises being Mentioned in Despatches.
  • New Zealand War Service Medal (with Masonic Lodge Pin) (Miniature) -iniature version of the 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.