Date of Entry: 12/12/2020
Surname: FRIIS
Christian Names: Kim Michael Joseph
Country: Australia
State or Province: Western Australia
City or Town: Merriden
Service: New Zealand Army
Branch: Infantry/Military Police
Commencement of service: February 1977
Completion of service: June 1982
Case Notes:


Kim Michael Friis about 62 old, now resides in Merriden Western Australia. He wears five medals on his left side - he is entitled to wear one. He was formerly a resident of Auckland, New Zealand and spent a few months in the part time NZ Army Territorial Forces, and about 5 years in the NZ Regular Army.

Former serving NZ Army colleagues of Friis contacted ANZMI, stating that they were surprised about the number of un-entitled medals he wears as displayed on his Facebook Page.

The below photograph depicts Friis. This photograph appeared on his Facebook page but was immediately removed following contact by a Researcher.

Friss 1


He is wearing the following court mounted medals -;
1. Order of St John of Jerusalem Merit Medal. Civilian award.
2. Order of St John of Jerusalem Merit Medal. Civilian award.
3. Unknown. Suspected civilian award
4. New Zealand Defence Medal with Territorial and Regular clasps. (Entitled to one clasp- Regular.)
5. New Zealand Army 150th Anniversary Medal. (tin unofficial purchased medal)

The first two medals are both Order of the Knights Hospitaller Merit Medals, also known as St John of Jerusalem. They are civilian awards issued by that particular organization. This Order was raised by four or five persons in Sydney in January, 1982, and followed on from overseas traditions.


These medals are not listed in the New Zealand or Australian Governor General’s approved list of Honours and Awards. They have no official standing and should not be worn on the left hand side and added to or mixed with official Defence Force medals or other medals approved for wear by the Governor Generals. If they are to be worn, then they should be worn on the right hand side. Friis was contacted and informed a researcher -

“The two are for the Sovereign Order of Saint John. One on the left was stuck by HRH Prince Vladimir of Serbia and Yugoslavia, it depicts his Father and himself to commemorate 50 years as Sovereign heads of the Order. The Sovereign Order of Saint John, in order to be recognised must have a Royal Sovereign”.

The third medal worn by Friis is unknown. On request, he failed to identify or provide evidence of his entitlement to this medal.


The fourth medal (above) is the New Zealand Defence Medal with two clasps. First Clasp “Territorial” and second clasp “Regular”. Friis is entitled to wear the New Zealand Service Medal with clasp “Regular”, following five years regular NZ Army service. His former colleagues indicated that he discharged after 5 years as a Lance Corporal with service in the NZ Infantry and Military Police.

He did not complete three years “Territorial” service, (similar to Australian Army Reserve) and is not entitled to wear the “Territorial” Clasp.


The last medal on the rack of Friis is an unofficial tin NZ Army 150th year Anniversary Medal. It can be purchased on eBay or at Medal Dealers outlets for about $40 NZ dollars. He has purchased this tin medal, and had it court mounted to embellish his rack. This medal if worn, should also be worn on the right side and not added to or mixed with GGs authorised medals worn on the left.

The Order of the Knights Hospitaller indicates in their official Medals wearing policy (inter alia)-;


• Only those medals, decorations and honours, which have been created under the prerogative of the Crown, have official status;


The Order of St John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller, has its own badges of rank, insignia of office and merit medals which are appropriately worn at all meetings and functions of the Order. These badges, insignia and medals should always be worn apart from any official awards given by the Nation. They should not be worn with Service Uniform, or at any function or commemorative event where Serving or Uniformed persons are present, or when any Australian Defence Force assets are involved.

• A civilian with military awards – essentially, there are no rules governing how a civilian can wear his various awards, save that the combining of service and unofficial awards may offend other wearers of medals. (END)

Long standing Governor Generals’ medal wearing protocols has been in existence in Australia and New Zealand for over 100 years. Non official medals should be worn on the right hand side. It is offensive to all veterans of all theatres of war in both countries to observe non authorised civilian merit or tin medals worn on the left side by Medal Cheats. In particular, private organisations like St John of Jerusalem, who issue medals of merit to their members. It demeans the value of hard earned military awards by those who have done the hard yards.

Our advice to Friis is to remove his St John Hospitaller “merit” medals from his rack, as well as the Territorial clasp and tin NZ Army 150th Anniversary medal.

He will be then left with one NZ Defence Medal – clasp “Regular” and that will be his true entitlement.

Welcome to ANZMI, Kim Michael Joseph Friis.


Located in: Medal Cheats
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