Miniature Group of Eight comprising: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-1920, Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Great Britain and British Empire issue 1914-1919 with Mentioned in Despatches oak leaves, Efficiency Medal, George V issue 1930-1936 with ‘Territorial’ bar, Territorial Force War Medal, 1939-1945 Star, Defence Medal 1939-1945 and War Medal 1939-1945.
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 19.24mm (0.76inch).
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 swivel 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 18.26mm (0.72 inch); age-toned.
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. Miniature circular bronze medal on laterally pierced loop 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 18.11mm (0.71 inch); a small age oxidisation spot to the upper left reverse.
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.
Efficiency Medal, George V issue 1930-1936 with ‘Territorial’ bar. Miniature oval silver medal on ornate fixed suspension of two laurel leaves with ‘TERRITORIAL’ bar; the face with the crowned head and shoulders of King George V facing left, circumscribed ‘GEORGIVS•V•D:G•BRITT: OMN: REX•ET•INDIÆ•IMP:’ (George V by the Grace of God King of Great Britain and Emperor of India); the reverse inscribed ‘FOR / EFFICIENT / SERVICE’; height overall 27.53mm (1.08 inches), diameter 16.08mm (0.63 inch); age-toned; on original ribbon.
The medal was instituted on 17 October 1930 to simplify the then existing awards, replacing the Territorial Efficiency Medal, the Militia Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and the equivalent awards issued by Commonwealth countries to other ranks in the volunteer forces. It was awarded for 12 years’ continuous efficient service (wartime service and also peacetime service in West Africa counting double). This first version bearing the head of King George V was replaced by that of King George VI in 1937 and thus had a life of just seven years.
Territorial Force War Medal. Miniature circular bronze medal with claw and fixed 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 inscribed ‘FOR / VOLUNTARY / SERVICE / OVERSEAS / 1914-1919’ within a wreath of laurel, circumscribed above ‘TERRITORIAL WAR MEDAL’; diameter 17.73mm (0.7 inch).
The Medal was instituted in 1919 to be awarded to those who served overseas during the Great War who had been serving with the Territorial Forces on 4 August 1914 or who had completed four years’ service before that date and rejoined on or before 30 September 1914. Anyone qualifying for the 1914 (Mons) Star or the 1914-15 Star was excluded and in the event only 34,000 medals were awarded, making it the rarest of the World War I medals.
1939-45 Star. Miniature bronze six-pointed faceted star with lateral loop for ribbon suspension; the face with the crowned cipher of King and Emperor George VI centrally within a stippled ring inscribed ‘THE 1939 - 1945 STAR’; the reverse plain; diameter 19.58mm (0.77 inch).
The Star was instituted in 1945 to be awarded for operational service between the declaration of war (3 September 1939) and V.J. Day (2 September 1945). Army personnel were required to complete six months’ service in an operational command. Airborne troops qualified if they had participated in any airborne operation and had completed two months’ service in a fully operational unit. Naval personnel were required to completed six months’ service and at least one voyage in an operational area. Air Force personnel were required to participate in operations against the enemy and to complete two months’ service in an operational unit. Non-aircrew personnel were required to complete six months’ service in an area of operational army command. For Royal Observer Corps personnel, the requirement was 1,080 days’ service. The Star was awarded immediately if service was terminated by death, disability or wounding. The award of a gallantry medal or of a Mention in Despatches led to immediate qualification for the Star.
Defence Medal, 1939-1945. Miniature circular cupro-nickel medal with claw and ribbon bar suspension; the face with the head of King George VI facing left, circumscribed ‘GEORGIVS VI D: G: BR. OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP. (George VI by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India); the reverse with a crowned oak sapling with lion supporters, wavy lines representing the sea below, dated ‘1939’ and ‘1945’ upper left and upper right respectively, inscribed below ‘THE DEFENCE MEDAL’; diameter 18.75mm (0.74 inch).
The medal was instituted in May 1945 to recognise non-operational service from the outbreak of war (3 September 1939) to V.E. Day (8 May 1945) in Europe and to V.J. Day (2 September 1945) overseas. The qualifying service periods were 180 days in overseas areas subject to air attack or other close enemy threat, 360 days in other overseas areas and 1,080 days in the U.K.. For mine and bomb disposal personnel overseas, the qualification period was 90 days. A number of special awards, such as those to the Malta Home Guard and to recipients of a Commendation for Brave Conduct or for Valuable Service in the Air, were also made.
War Medal, 1939-1945. Miniature circular silvered metal medal with claw and ribbon bar suspension; the face with the crowned head of King George VI facing left, circumscribed ‘GEORGIVS VI D: G: BR: OMN: REX ET INDIAE IMP:’ (George VI by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, Emperor of India); the reverse with a triumphant lion standing on a prostrate dragon, dated ‘1939 1945’ above right; diameter 18.62mm (0.73 inch); slight wear to silvering.
The medal was instituted in 1945 and was awarded to all full-time members of the armed forces who had served at least 28 days between the outbreak of war (3 September 1939) and V.J. Day (2 September 1945).
The medals are on original ribbons, that for the Victory medal with bronze Mentioned in Despatches oak leaves, and bar-mounted with pin for wear. A good miniature Territorial group.