Circular gilt metal medal with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with the crowned state coat of arms imposed on crossed swords encircled by a wreath of oak and laurel; the reverse with the dates ‘1915-1918’ encircled by a wreath of wheat, oak, roses and laurel; on original trifold ribbon.
The Medal was created by decree on 9 December 1933 and awarded to all participants then living in World War I, both military and civilian, until 31 December 1939.
The Medal could be awarded to military from the Central Powers and to foreign citizens; in the event the largest such group was German military.
Bulgaria felt a great sense of grievance following the loss of territory at the conclusion of the second Balkan War in 1913. When Germany offered to restore all of the lands she had been promised in 1878, Bulgaria, which had the largest army in the Balkans, declared war on Serbia in October 1915. In return, Britain, France and Italy then declared war on Bulgaria. After initial victories, the war became unpopular because of food and other shortages and the revolution in Russia in 1917 had a profound effect on Bulgarian sentiment. When the Allies finally broke out of the Salonika pocket, Bulgaria sued for peace and King Ferdinand I abdicated in favour of his son who became King Boris III. The Treaty of Neuilly that concluded the war took significant territory from Bulgaria and imposed severe restrictions on the future size of her armed forces.