The Army Long Service and Good Conduct Metal was instituted by King William IV in 1830. The medal remained in use for 100 years, until it was replaced by the Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military) in 1930. During that time, the reverse of the medal remained virtually unchanged, while the design of the obverse was altered during the reigns of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V.
The medal was struck in silver and is a disk. Apart from the different obverse designs that came into use with each successive monarch, the suspension of the medal evolved over the years from a small or large ring to a plain curved bar suspender and eventually an ornamented scroll pattern suspender that was initially a swivelling type and finally a fixed non-swivelling type.
The reverse of all verions of the medal is smooth with a raised rim and bears the inscription "FOR LONG SERVICE AND GOOD CONDUCT" in four straight lines in the centre. The inscription is underlined by two spear blades, which evolved from three tied balls between the two blades on early versions of the medal to three separate balls between the baldes on later versions.