Instituted by King George V in 1919 to mark the end of World War I and record the service given. The qualification period was later extended to cover post-war mine clearance and service in Russia during 1919 and 1920.
The British War Medal was awarded for service in a theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Those eligible included members of women's organisations; persons on the staffs of military hospitals and members of recognised organisations who handled sick and wounded; and members of other duly recognised or other authorised organisations as specified in medal regulations. The qualification period was later extended to cover post-war mine clearance and service in Russia during 1919 and 1920.
The British War Medal is cupro-nickel with the effigy of George V on the obverse. The reverse has an image of St George on horseback trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the Central Powers, and a skull and cross-bones, the emblems of death. Above this is the risen sun of victory. The years 1914 and 1918 are contained on the outside edge medal.
The British War Medal 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 have no particular significance.
Web page last updated 15 August, 2013