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The British War Medal

The British War Medal was a campaign medal of the British Empire, for service in World War I.

The medal was approved in 1919, for issue to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who had rendered service between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Officers and men of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and Dominion and Colonial naval forces (including reserves) were required to have completed 28 days mobilised service the medal was automatically awarded in the event of death on active service before the completion of this period.

The medal was later extended to cover the period 191920 and service in mine-clearing at sea as well as participation in operations in North and South Russia, the eastern Baltic, Siberia, the Black Sea, and the Caspian.

Some 6,500,000 medals were awarded in total, of which 110,000 were bronze. These bronze medals were mostly issued to Chinese, Maltese, and Indians who served in labour battalions.

Design

The medal is a circular silver (or, in rare cases, bronze) design. The obverse shows a King George V bareheaded effigy, facing left, with the legend: GEORGIVS V BRITT : OMN : REX ET IND : IMP : (George 5th, King of all the Britains, and, Emperor of India)

The reverse shows St. George, naked, on horseback armed with a short sword (an allegory of the physical and mental strength which achieves victory over Prussianism). The horse tramples on the Prussian shield and the skull and cross-bones. Just off-centre, near the right upper rim, is the sun of Victory. The dates 1914 and 1918 appear in the left and right fields respectively.

The ribbon has a wide central watered stripe of orange, flanked by two narrow white stripes, which are in turn flanked by two black pin-stripes, further flanked by two outer stripes of blue. The colours are not believed to have any particular significance.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal

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