The Allied Victory Medal

The Inter-Allied Victory Medal of the United Kingdom was instituted in 1919, the year following the end of World War One, and was issued to all officers, warrant officer, non-comissioned officers and men of the British, Dominion, Colonial and Indian Forces who were mobilised and subsequently entered an operational theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. It was also awarded to medical and other auxiliary staff, members of the Mercantile Marine and personnel who took part in the British Naval mission to Russia and for those involved in mine clearance in the North Sea between 11 November 1918 and 30 November 1919.

The Victory Medal was of a 36mm diameter circular copper design, lacquered with bronze, and had on its obverse a winged figure of Victory holding a palm branch. The inscription ‘ THE GREAT WAR FRO CIVILIZATION’ was featured inside a laurel wreath on its reverse. The medal  has a plain rim and hangs from a ring. The ribbon is shaded to form the colours of two rainbows with red at the centre. The basic design and ribbon of the Victory Medal was also adopted by Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Romania, Siam, Union of South Africa and the United States in accordance with the decision of the Inter-Allied Peace Conference at Versailles.

Approximately 5.75 million individuals were issued with the United Kingdom variant of the victory medal for service in World War One, with most recipients being military personnel. Those Mentioned in Despatches between August 1914 and August 1920 wore a bronze oakleaf on the ribbon. Medals have the recipient’s service number, rank, name and unit impressed in various styles on the rim, however, regimental details are omitted on those awarded to Army officers. The medal could not be awarded on its own and recipients were also awarded the British War Medal and the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star if eligible.