World War One Medal Elligibility | Empire Medals | British Military Medals
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World War One medals A brief summary of criteria for the different medals awarded for service during the First World War.

1914 Star1914 Star
Eligibility

Instituted in 1917 and sometimes erroneously referred to as the Mons Star, this award was approved for all Officers and Men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces, including civilian medical practitioners, nursing sisters, nurses and others employed in military hospitals who actually served in France or Belgium between the 5th August 1914 and midnight of 22-23rd November 1914.

Criteria

Royal Navy, Royal Marines, RNR and RNVR personnel qualified if they served at ashore in France or Belgium. Army Personnel had to serve on the establishment of a Unit in Either France or Belgium Service for all must have been between 5th August 1914 and midnight of 22- 23rd November 1914

Description

A bronze four pointed star the top point formed as a crown with a ring suspension on top through which the ribbon is threaded. Swords cross through the angles of the star and where they meet they are surmounted with a scroll bearing the date 1914 above which is a smaller scroll bearing the date 4th Aug and a similar scroll below bearing Nov with a plain reverse. The medal is worn from a watered ribbon of Red White and blue in equal proportions. The red is worn nearest to the centre of the chest.

Approximately 378,000 stars were awarded but it is not known how many of these were awarded with a bar. 160 stars without bars were awarded to Canadian.

Mounting

A fixed ring formed into the top of the Crown.

Bars

A single clasp bearing the dates 5th Aug-22nd Nov 1914 was authorised by the King in 1919 for award to those personnel who served under fire in France or Belgium between those dates. The clasp has a small hole in each corner for sewing onto the ribbon.

1914-15 Star

Eligibility

Authorised in 1918 and awarded to all who served overseas between 5th

August 1914 and 31st December 1915 provided the had not received the 1914 Star.

Criteria

For the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, RNAS, RNR, RNVR and RIM and Dominion Naval forces, personnel had to be have been mobilised and served at sea or on shore within the theatres of operations. RNAS employed flying from Naval Air stations on overseas patrols, to personnel of the mercantile marine serving under special Naval engagements; to canteen staffs who had served in a ship of war at sea.

Description

Same basic design as the 1914 star except the central scroll bears the dates 1914-15 and the two smaller scrolls are omitted. The medal is worn from a watered ribbon of Red White and blue in equal proportions. The red is worn nearest to the centre of the chest.

Approximately 2,366,000 were issued, including 283,500 to the Royal Navy and 71,500 to Canadian Units.

Mounting

A fixed ring formed into the top of the Crown.

Bars

No bars were authorised to this medal.

British War Medal

Eligibility

Approved in 1919 this award also covered post war mine-clearance at sea as well as service in North and South Russia, the Eastern Baltic, Siberia, Black Sea and Caspian up to 1920.

Criteria

Navy, and Marines including dominion and colonial forces and reserve qualified by serving 28 days between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 Army and RAF personnel received the award on entering a theatre of war between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918.

Description

The reverse represents St. George on horseback trampling underfoot the eagle shields of the Central Powers and a skull and cross-bones, the emblem of death. The male figure rather than a symbolic female one was chosen because man had borne the brunt of the fighting. The figure was mounted on horseback as symbolic of mans min controlling a force (the horse) of greater strength than his own.

The medal is struck in solid silver although also awarded to Chinese, Maltese, Indian and other native Labour Corps and also to other native personnel who were mobilised for war service and rendered pay at military rates. Approximately 6,500,000 silver medals and 110,000 bronze medals were issued.

The medal is worn from a ribbon with a broad central orange stripe of 16mm bordered either side by a white stripe or 3mm, a black stripe of 1mm and a blue edge of 3mm.

Mounting

The ribbon is attached by a straight non-swivelling suspension.

Bars

Bars were originally approved for the medal and the Royal Navy actually had their list of 50 clasps approved, none were however ever awarded although they are found in miniature. The Army and RAF list was never made public.

Mercantile Marine War Medal

Eligibility

Awarded to Officers and men of the Mercantile Marine (As the Merchant Navy was then known) It was also awarded to a few members of the Royal Navy who were seconded for service with the Mercantile Marine between 4th August 1914 and 31st December 1915.

Criteria

Personnel must have qualified for the British War Medal and also provided proof of service on one or more voyages through a danger zone.

Description

The medal is struck in bronze and depicts a merchant ship in heavy seas, in the right background is a sailing ship in the middle distance on the right is a sinking submarine. Underneath are the words ëFor war service mercantile marine 1914-1918í The whole is surrounded by a laurel wreath.

The ribbon is half red half green separated by a thin white stripe and represent the ships lights port and starboard.

Approximately 133,135 medals were issued, around 100 were to Canadians.

Mounting

The ribbon is attached by a straight non-swivelling suspension.

Bars

No bars were authorised.

Victory Medal

Eligibility

Authorised in 1919 to commemorate the victory of the Allies over the Central Powers. It was resolved that each of the Allies should issue a ëVictory Medalí to their own personnel to prevent a mass exchange of awards between the nations. It was further resolved that all the issues would have a common theme, that of the figure of Victory on the obverse ñ Japan however issued theirs with a Samurai Warrior on the obverse. It was optional to issue the medal and in the event the following countries issued medals;

Great Britain, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Roumania, Thailand, Union of South Africa and the USA.

Criteria

Issued to all personnel who served within a theatre of war between midnight 4-5th August 1914 and midnight 11-12th November 1918. All recipients of the Victory Medal received the British War Medal. Not all recipients of the British War Medal received the Victory medal.

Description

The winged figure of Victory with her arm extended and holding a palm branch in her right hand. The reverse bears the inscription ëThe great war for civilisation 1914-1919í The metal is Gilded Bronze. The ribbon is a watered wide ribbon in the colours of the rainbow going from Red in the centre to purple on each edge.

Approximately 5,725,000 were issued

Mounting

The medal is suspended from 1 14mm diameter ring which passes through a loop fixed to the top of the medal.

Bars

No bars were authorised however recipients of a Mention in Despatches wear a spray of oak leaves on the ribbon, only one emblem is worn regardless of how many times an individual was mentioned.

Territorial Force War Medal

Eligibility

Established in 1920 for award to members of the Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Service who volunteered for service overseas on or before 30th September 1914.

Criteria

As well as volunteering for service before 30th September 1914 individuals must have rendered service during the First World War, served outside the United Kingdom between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 and did not qualify for either the 1914 or 1914-15 Star. Individuals must also have completed four years service in the Territorial Force before 4th August 1914 and rejoined that Force on or before 30th September 1914.

Description

A Bronze medal bearing on the reverse the wording around the top ëTerritorial War Medalí and below, inside a wreath, the inscription ë For Voluntary Service Overseas 1914-19í The Ribbon is Yellow watered with a green stripe of 4mm set ip 5mm from each edge.

A Total of 33,944 medals were issued.

Mounting

The ribbon is attached by a straight non-swivelling suspension.

Bars

No Bars were authorised

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