Circular bronze medal with integral bar for ribbon suspension; the face with a winged Victory on a triumphal chariot drawn by four lions, signed ‘Orsolini MOD’ and with maker’s mark ‘S. JOHNSON • MILANO’; the reverse with a tazza from which two doves bearing olive branches fly, dated ‘MXMXIV’ ‘MXMXVIII’ (1914 1918), inscribed around the upper rim ‘GRANDE GUERRA PER LA CIVILITA’ (The Great War for Civilization) and inscribed at the base ‘AL COMBATIENTI DELLA NAZIONE / ALLEATE ED ASSOCIATE’ (To the combatants of the Allied and Associated countries), signed by the die-maker ‘G.Villa • INC.’; age-toned; on replaced correct 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 medal was awarded to all Italian participants in World War I. A number of both official and unofficial versions are known; that by Johnson is known as the ‘Official Type 2’.