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Medals Awarded To British Forces Personal During World War One

Five medals for campaign were that were available to those who participated in active service during the First World War. Any person, male or female, was able to receive up to three of these awards, however there were a tiny few exceptions to this rules.

Medals of service were awarded at no cost to all grades, however officers and their kin were required to apply for their own. Medals were engraved by the initials of the person who received it and often included any (or all) of these information: service number the rank, the initial name or first name surname, surname and the military group (Regiment or Corps). The information was usually located on the rim of a medal, or in the instance of an engraved star it was on its reverse.

Apart from the five medals awarded for campaigning, badges were offered to both men and officers who were discharged with honor or been discharged due to illness or injuries during wartime.

British Campaign Medal Sets

Pip, Squeak and Wilfred

Pip, Squeak and Wilfred are the names used to refer to three WW1 badges – They are the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal respectively. These medals were awarded primarily for the old contemptibles (B.E.F.). And, by convention, all 3 medals must be worn in the same sequence from Left to Right when seen in front. The trio of medals or , at a minimum, at a minimum the British War Medal and the Victory Medal are the most likely to be found in family heritage items.

In the time it was the time that the WW1 medals were first issued in 1920, it was in conjunction with a comic strip that was popular that was published in The Daily Mirror newspaper. The strip is written by Bertram J. Lamb (Uncle Dick) and was drawn by artist Austin Bowen Payne (A.B. Payne). Pip is the name of the dog. Squeak Penguin was the penguin, and Wilfred the rabbit who was just a few months old. There is a belief that A. B. Payne’s Batman in the war was known as “Pip-squeak” and that is where the concept as to the name of the penguin and dog was derived from. Somehow, the trio of names came to be connected to the three medals of campaign being given out to a multitude of servicemen returning home and they stayed.

“Mutt as well as Jeff”

In the same way, where only two of British War Medal and Victory Medal are displayed together, they’re sometimes referred to by the name of “Mutt or Jeff”.

The 1914 Star

In April 1917, the company was founded.

Also called ‘Pip’ or the Mons Star.

The bronze medal was approved by the King George V in April 1917 to those who been as soldiers in France and Belgium between the 5th of August 1914 until midnight on November 22, 1914 inclusive. The award was available to both men and officers from those of the British as well as the Indian Expeditionary Forces, doctors and nurses, as in addition to Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Navy Reserve and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve who worked ashore for the Royal Naval Division in France or Belgium.

A small horizontal bronze clasp, sewn to the ribbon with the date ‘5th August. 22nd Nov. 1914’ indicates that the recipient suffered the attack from the enemy during the time. Seven medals awarded without clasps, there were five medals issued without the clasp.

The recipients who received the medal and clasp permitted to wear a tiny heraldic silver rose to the ribbon, even if the ribbon was on display.

The reverse side is clear with the service number the rank, name, and unit engraved on it.

It is important to remember that those who received this medal helped the French to thwart the German army, while the new recruits could be trained and armed. Together, they are deserving of the highest praise for their contribution to the initial sixteen weeks in the Great War. It included battles at Mons and the retreat from the Seine as well as the battles at Le Cateau, the Marne and The Aisne and the Battle of Ypres. There were around 378,000 1914 Stars issued.

The 1914-15 Star

In December 1918, the company was founded.

Also known as “Pip”.

The bronze medal was officially authorized in 1918. It’s very similar in design with the 1914 Star however it was awarded to a wider variety of recipients. It was generally awarded to anyone who was in any war zone against Germany between the 5th of August 1914 to 31st December 1915. This was not the case for those who qualified to receive an award like the 1914 Star. In the same way, those who were awarded either the Africa General Service Medal or the Sudan 1910 Medal were not qualified for the award.

As with the 1914 Star The 1914-15 Star was not given on its own. The recipient must receive both the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The reverse is simple with an individual’s number of service, rank, name , and the unit’s name engraved on it.

A total of 2.4 millions of the medals awarded.

The British War Medal, 1914-18

The company was founded on July 26, 1919.

Also called “Squeak”.

The bronze or silver medal was presented to the officers and men who were members of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered an area of conflict or enlisted abroad between the 5th of August 1914 to the 11th of November, 1918. The award expanded to include services within Russia, Siberia and some other regions in 1919 and 1920.

About 6.5 million War Medals of Britain were given out. Around 6.4 million of them were silver versions of the medal. About 110,000 of the bronze version were given in the Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. Front (obv or the reverse) of this medal shows George V’s head. George V.

The service number of the recipient as well as the rank, name, and unit were impressed on the edge.

The Allied Victory Medal

Also called “Wilfred”

It was agreed that the allies would each be awarded a bronze medal of victory with identical design, the same text and the same ribbon.

The British medal was created in the hands of W. McMillan. The front of the medal depicts the winged classical figure that symbolizes victory.

Around 5.7 million medals of victory were given out. The eligibility criteria for this award was more limited and not all those who received the British War Medal (‘Squeak’) was also awarded the Victory Medal (‘Wilfred’). In general the majority of recipients of ‘Wilfred were also awarded the ‘Squeak’ award, and all winners of ‘Pip’ got both “Squeak” as well as “Wilfred”.

The service number of the recipient as well as the rank, name, and unit was engraved on the edge.

The Territorial Force War Medal, 1914-1919

Inaugurated on April 26, 1920.

Members of only the Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Service were eligible for this award. The recipient must have been part of the Territorial Force on or before 30th September 1914 . They also had to have been in an operational theater of war in an area outside of within the United Kingdom between 5th August 1914 to the 11th of November, 1918. A person who was eligible for the 1914 Star or the 1914/15 Star 1914 Star or 1914/15 Star was not eligible to receive the Territorial War Medal.

The reverse (front) of the coin depicts an depiction of the King George V with the words”GEORGIVS BRITT OMM:REX ET INDIA The inscription reads: IMP:

Its reverse bears it’s phrases TERRITORIAL WAR MEDAL, which is around the rim. It is adorned with laurel wreaths and words in the wreath that stand for the VOLUNTARY SERVICE FOR OVERSEAS 1914-1919.

Around 34,000 Territorial Force War Medals were awarded.

It’s the Silver War Badge

The Silver War Badge was issued on the 12th of September, 1916.

The badge was originally given to men and officers who had been released or retired from army because of injury or sickness due to their war service. After April 1918 , the qualification was expanded to include civilians who were part of the Royal Army Medical Corps, female nurses, staff members and aid workers.

On the rim of this badge was the words “For the King and Empire Services Rendered”. It was later referred to by this reason as well by the “Services Rendered Badge”. The badges were also made with a unique number on the reverseof the badge, though this number is not directly related to the person’s Service Number.

The person who received the badge would also receive an award that included the badge. The badge was constructed of Sterling silver, and was designed for wear on right-hand breasts of the recipient’s civilian clothes. The badge could not be worn with a military uniform.

The total number of Silver War Badges issued was around 1,150,000. Silver War Badges issued in total to soldiers in the First World War service.

Mercantile Marine War Medal

The medal was first awarded in 1919.

The Board of Trade awarded this campaign medal, called the Mercantile Marine War Medal, to individuals who had been within the Merchant Navy and who had been on a journey through the danger or war zone during the conflict of 1914-1918.

It was a round bronze medal. It measured 1.42 inches wide and a quarter inch thick. On the reverse (front) it had an image depicting King George V facing to the left and the words GEORGIVS VS BRITT OMM: REX ET IND: Impression:.

Its reverse features an edging of laurel around the rim. It is decorated with the image of a ship at sea in stormy weather, with an enemy submarine as well as an old sailing vessel to just to the left of the vessel. The inscription on the reverse of the medal is for the War Service/Mercantile Marine 1914-1918.

This ribbon (1.25 inches long) can be seen as green left side and it is red to the left, with a the thin white line running through the middle of the two. The red and green hues of the ribbon are the port and starboard running lights on a ship and the white centre is a representation of the masthead’s steaming light.

The Mercantile Marine War Medals 133,135 were presented.