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.

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.

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.

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.

Territorial Force War 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.

    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.

    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.

    Distinguished Service Order

    The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the Commonwealth, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. Since 1993 all ranks have been eligible.

    Militry Cross

    The Military Cross (MC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and (since 1993) other ranks of the British Armed Forces, and formerly awarded to officers of other Commonwealth countries.

    The MC is granted in recognition of “an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land” to all members of the British Armed Forces of any rank. In 1979, the Queen approved a proposal that a number of awards, including the Military Cross, could be recommended posthumously.

    Air Medal

    The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces. It was created in 1942 and is awarded for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.

    Purple Heart Medal

    The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after April 5, 1917, with the U.S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members – the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York.

    Silver Star Medal

    The Silver Star Medal is the United States Armed Forces’s third-highest personal decoration for valour in combat. The Silver Star Medal is awarded primarily to members of the United States Armed Forces for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States.

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