Great War M.B.E. Miniature Group of Four.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Member (M.B.E.), Military, 1st type, 1917-1935 issue, silver. Miniature silver cross patonce with Tudor crown suspension; the face with a circular central medallion with Britannia seated, her left arm extended, a radiant sun above right, within a ring inscribed ‘FOR GOD AND THE EMPIRE’; the reverse with a circular central medallion with the crowned cipher of King and Emperor George V within a plain ring; diameter 20.83mm (0.82 inch).
The Order was instituted by King George V on 4 June 1917 in five grades to acknowledge the service of non-combatants during wartime. In 1918 the Order was divided into Civil and Military divisions.
This example is of the first type with Britannia on the face; since 1935 the Order has had the head and shoulders portraits of King George V and Queen Mary facing left on the face.
1914-15 Star. Miniature four-pointed faceted gilt bronze star with crown and loop suspension; the face with crossed swords and a circular oak wreath imposed, a ribbon centrally bearing the dates ‘1914-15’, the royal cipher ‘GV’ (for King George V) below; the reverse plain; diameter 21.52mm (0.84 inch).
The Star was instituted in 1918 and awarded to those who had served in any theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915 but had not already been awarded the 1914 Star.
British War Medal 1914-1920. Miniature circular silver medal with claw and ribbon bar suspension; the face with the head of King George V facing left, circumscribed ‘GEORGIVS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND : IMP:’ (George V King of Great Britain and Emperor of India); the reverse with St. George on horseback, reins in his left hand, a sword in his right, trampling a shield bearing an eagle with wings outstretched and a skull and crossbones, wavy lines denoting the sea beyond, a radiant rising sun upper right, dated ‘1914’ and ‘1918’ upper left and right respectively; diameter 17.97mm (0.71 inch).
The Medal was instituted in 1919 and awarded to members of the British and Imperial forces who had served between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Officers and men of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, and Dominion and Colonial naval forces were required to have completed 28 days mobilised service, though this was waived if active service had been terminated by death. The award criteria were subsequently extended to include post-war mine-clearing at sea and service in operations in Russia in 1919-20.
Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Great Britain and British Empire issue, 1914-1919 with Mentioned in Despatches oak leaf. Miniature circular gilt bronze medal on laterally pierced loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a winged figure of Victory; the reverse inscribed ‘THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION 1914-1919’ within a circular laurel wreath; diameter 18.07mm (0.71 inch); with bronze Mentioned in Despatches oak leaf on the ribbon.
The idea of an inter-allied medal to commemorate victory in what was termed ‘The Great War for Civilisation’ is credited to the French Field-Marshal Foch. It was agreed that each of the Allies should issue a medal to their nationals featuring a figure representing ‘Victory’ on the front and have a symmetric double rainbow ribbon with red, the colour of courage and sacrifice at the centre, representing the colours of the allies flags and presenting an allegory of calm after storm.
The British medal was instituted on 1 September 1919 to be awarded to all those who served in a theatre of operations between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. It was awarded also to all British Empire military, except those of South Africa, whose government issued their own variant. Additionally, it was awarded to those British servicemen active in the Hejaz and Aden after the end of the European war, for post-war mine clearance operations and for the Royal Navy mission to Russia, hence the latter date of 1919.
The Group is age-toned, on original ribbons and bar-mounted for wear.