Miniature Group of Eight.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Member (M.B.E.), Military, 1st type, 1917-1935 issue. 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 rope border; diameter 18.97mm (0.75 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.
British War Medal, 1914-1920. Miniature circular silver medal with 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 18.23mm (0.72 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. 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 17.68mm (0.7 inch).
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.
Territorial Force War Medal 1914-1919. 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 17.19mm (0.68 inch); there are signs of the claw being resoldered.
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.
General Service Medal, George V 1918-1930 issue with ‘Iraq’ clasp. Miniature circular medal with ornate scrolled ribbon suspension bar and ‘IRAQ’ clasp loose on the ribbon; the face with the uncrowned ‘coinage’ 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 a standing winged Victory with Greek helmet, an upright trident in her left hand, a laurel wreath in her right hand crowning an upright winged sword; diameter 17.69mm (0.7 inch).
The medal was instituted on 19 January 1923 to be awarded to Army and Air Force personnel involved in small conflicts outside Africa and India where a separate campaign medal was not issued. The ‘Iraq’ clasp was awarded for service in Iraq at, or north of, Ramadi between 10 December 1919 and 13 June 1920 or as part of an establishment between 1 July and 17 November 1920.
India General Service Medal 1908-1935, George V, 1910-1930 issue, with ‘Waziristan 1921-24’ clasp. Miniature circular silver medal with claw and ornate scroll swivel ribbon bar with original ‘WAZIRISTAN 1921-24’ clasp; the face with the crowned head and shoulders portrait of King George V facing left in coronation robes, circumscribed ‘GEORGIUS V KAISAR-I-HIND’ (George V Emperor of India); the reverse with a view of Jamrud Fort and the entrance to the Khyber Pass, inscribed ‘INDIA’ on a plaque below with oak and laurel branches to either side; diameter 17.73mm (0.7 inch).
The medal was instituted on 1 January 1909 for service in campaigns on India’s borders. The ‘Waziristan 1921-24’ clasp was awarded for service in Waziristan between 21 December 1921 and 31 March, 1924.
War Medal, 1939-1945. Miniature circular cupro-nickel 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 17.87mm (0.7 inch).
The medal was instituted in 1945 and was awarded to 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).
India Service Medal 1939-1945. Miniature circular cupro nickel medal with claw and ribbon suspension bar; the face with the crowned head of King and Emperor 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 and Emperor of India), signed ‘P M’; the reverse with a relief map of (then) India, inscribed ‘INDIA’ above and dated ‘1939-45’ below; diameter 17.92mm (0.7 inch).
The medal was instituted in 1945 and awarded to members of the Indian Armed Forces for three years non-operational service in India, effectively replacing the Defence Medal for Indian troops.
The medals are age-toned with some surface wear (see illustrations) and are bar-mounted on original ribbons (the M.B.E. is on a post-1936 military ribbon) with pin for wear.
A good period group.