Medals and Military Awards


As we delve into the 20th Century we’re finding more references to medals awarded to people. The options are shown here.

Campaign Medals

Campaign medals are those medals awarded to individuals who served in the First World War and who met the qualifications laid down for each campaign medal. In general, all those who saw service overseas were awarded a campaign medal. The qualifications for each campaign medal were laid down in Army Orders.

1914 Star

Instituted in 1917 for service ashore in France and Flanders between 5 August and 22 November 1914. In 1919 a clasp bearing these dates was authorised and given to those individuals who had actually been under fire between the prescribed dates.

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1914 / 1915 Star

Authorised in 1918, the 1914/15 Star was awarded to those individuals who saw service in France and Flanders from 23 November 1914 to 31 December 1915, and to those individuals who saw service in any other operational theatre from 5 August 1914 to 31 December 1915.

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British War Medal

The British War Medal 1914-1920, authorised in 1919, was awarded to eligible service personnel and civilians alike. Qualification for the award varied slightly according to service. The basic requirement for army personnel and civilians was that they either entered a theatre of war, or rendered approved service overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Service in Russia in 1919 and 1920 also qualified for the award.

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Victory Medal

The Victory Medal 1914-1919 was also authorised in 1919 and was awarded to all eligible personnel who served on the establishment of a unit in an operational theatre.

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Territorial Force Medal

The Territorial Force War Medal 1914-1919 was awarded to members of the Territorial Force only. To qualify, the recipient had to have been a member of the Territorial Force on or prior to 30 September 1914, and to have served in an operational theatre outside of the United Kingdom between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.

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Silver War Badge

The Silver War Badge (SWB), sometimes erroneously called the Silver Wound Badge, was authorised in September 1916 and takes the form of a circular badge with the legend “For King and Empire-Services Rendered” surrounding the George V cypher. The badge was awarded to all of those military personnel who were discharged as a result of sickness or wounds contracted or received during the war, either at home or overseas.

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Military Awards

Meritorious Service Medal

The Meritorious Service Medal was introduced on 19th December 1845, and was typically awarded by British military authorities as a means of formally recognising long military service or given acts of merit.

The MSM ‎(as it was known)‎ was awarded to warrant officers and senior NCOs. Such servicemen were eligible for the award once they had received their army discharge after a period of at least 21 years.

Click here for Closes awarded the Meritorious Service Medal

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