Miniature circular gilt bronze medal with 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 18.21mm (0.72 inch); on possibly original 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.