Tuesday, November 18, 2014

British War Medal and Victory Medal

William Lively was posthumously awarded the British War and Victory medals. His service records did not include the date William entered the British Army, and these medals proved to be good clues as to that date. Because he was not awarded the Star medal, we know he was conscripted. The Military Service Act, which was passed on 27 January 1916, made every British male subject between the ages of 19 and 41, who was unmarried or a widower without dependent children, eligible for conscription. Previous to that time it was a volunteer force.

Victory Medal (left) and British War Medal (right);
photograph courtesy of Online Medals

British War Medal

The British War medal was approved in 1919, for issue to officers and men of the British and Imperial forces who had rendered service between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Officers and men of the Army were required to have either entered an active theatre of war, or left the United Kingdom for service overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 and completed 28 days of mobilized service. The medal was automatically awarded in the event of death on active service. Some 6,500,00 medals were awarded.

Victory Medal

The Victory medal was designed in accordance with the decision of the Inter-Allied Peace Conference at Versailles. The medal was issued to all those who received the 1914 Star or the 1914-1914 Star, and to most of those who were awarded the British War medal. It was never awarded singly. Some 5,725,000 medals were awarded.

The combination of the two medals is irreverently called "Mutt and Jeff."

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