Campaign Medals of the Great War

The lesser known awards

This is the last in the Great War campaign medals series and only details a couple of rarely seen ones. Overall, over 15 million medals were issued after the war, so many in fact that it took until the 1930s to distribute nearly all of them. I say nearly all as there are still claims made for medals that were never issued or never made it to the intended recipient, be it the person to whom they were awarded or their next of kin.

Mr QM, Going Postal
Field surgery at Gallipoli. 42nd (East Lancashire) Division. Photo by Ernest Brooks

Territorial War Medal

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The Territorial Force War Medal was a campaign medal awarded to members of the British Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Services who served overseas in the Great War; it is the rarest of the five British Great War medals as only 33,944 were issued.

The medal was established in April 1920 for award to members of the Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Services who volunteered for service overseas on or before 30 September 1914 and served overseas. They had to have been serving with the force on 4 August 1914 or have completed four years’ service with the force before 4 August 1914 and re-joined the force on or before 30 September 1914. In addition provided they agreed on or before 30 September 1914 to serve outside the United Kingdom. If the individual served outside the United Kingdom between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918, they also qualified for the award. An individual who was eligible to receive the 1914 Star or 1914/15 Star was not eligible to receive the Territorial War Medal.

The medal is of a circular bronze design of 36mm diameter suspended on a straight bar. The obverse shows King George V and the reverse has a wreath with in centre FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE OVERSEAS 1914-19, and around the upper outer edge TERRITORIAL WAR MEDAL
The ribbon is yellow with two green stripes, 32 mm wide.

Mr QM, Going Postal
Sinking of the Linda Blanche out of Liverpool by Willy Stöwer, 1915

Mercantile Marine War Medal

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In 1919, the British Board of Trade awarded this campaign medal, the Mercantile Marine War Medal, to people who had served in the Merchant Navy and who had made a voyage through a war zone or danger zone during the Great War.

It is a circular bronze medal of 1.42 inches in diameter. On the obverse there is an effigy of King George V facing to the left. The reverse of the medal has a laurel wreath around the rim with an image of a merchant ship on a stormy sea with an enemy submarine and an old sailing ship to the right of the merchant ship. The inscription on this side of the medal is FOR WAR SERVICE MERCANTILE MARINE 1914-1918.

The ribbon of 1.25 inches wide is green on the left and red on the right with a thin white line in the centre between the two. The green and red colours of the ribbon represent the starboard and port running lights of a ship with the centre white colour being representative of the masthead steaming light. There were 133,135 Mercantile Marine War Medals awarded.
 

© Mr QM 2018