Medals and Honours

All servicemen and servicewomen of Britain and the Commonwealth were awarded medals and awards for their service in the First World War.  In addition there were also a wide variety of orders, medals and decorations given for gallantry and  distinguished service.  General service during the First World War was recognised by the issue of the 1914 Star (or the 1914-15 Star), the British War Medal 1914-1920 and the Victory Medal 1914-1919.  This trio of awards became popularly known as ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’ after characters in a Daily Mail cartoon of the period.  Certain criteria had to be met and qualifications for each campaign medal were:

Description: 1914 Star

1914 Star
The 1914 Star was introduced in 1917 and awarded to members of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces (including civilian doctors, nurses, and other military hospital personnel) for service in France and Belgium between 5 August and 22 November 1914. The Bar was awarded to recipients of the Star who had actually served under fire during the qualifying period.

Description: 1914/15 Star

1914/15 Star
Introduced in 1918, the 1914/15 Star was awarded to those who saw service in France and Belgium from 23 November 1914 to 31 December 1915, and to those who served in any other operational theatre from 5 August 1914 to 31 December 1915.  The 1914-15 Star is identical to the 1914 Star excepting that the central scroll is titled "1914-15" rather than "Aug-1914-Nov".    If a man or woman qualified for either Star then qualification for the British War & Victory Medals was automatic.

Description: British War Medal

British War Medal
Authorised in 1919,   this medal was awarded to eligible service personnel and civilians. The basic requirement was that they either entered a theatre of war, or gave approved service overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Qualification was extended to service in Russia in 1919 and 1920.   This was the most widely awarded of the service medals with almost seven million issued.

Description: Victory Medal

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.   It was not possible to be awarded the Victory Medal unless you also had the BWM qualification and all recipients of either the 1914 or 1914-15 Star automatically qualified for the BW & V Medals.


The following WW1 awards for gallantry and distinguished service are listed below in order of precedence:

  • Victoria Cross (V.C.)
  • Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.)
  • Distinguished Service Cross (D.S.C.)
  • Military Cross (M.C.)
  • Distinguished Flying Cross (D.F.C.)
  • Air Force Cross (A.F.C.)
  • Distinguished Conduct Medal (D.C.M.)
  • Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (C.G.M.)
  • Distinguished Service Medal (D.S.M.)
  • Military Medal (M.M.)
  • Distinguished Flying Medal (D.F.M.)
  • Air Force Medal (A.F.M.)
  • Meritorious Service Medal (M.S.M.)
  • Mentioned in Despatches (M.I.D.)
  • Citation for a Gallantry Award

Farndon Men Honoured


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