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Victory Medal (United Kingdom)

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The Victory Medal (also called the Inter-Allied Victory Medal) is a United Kingdom and British Empire First World War campaign medal.

The design and ribbon was also adopted by Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Romania, Siam, Union of South Africa and the USA in accordance with the decision of the Inter-Allied Peace Conference at Versailles (a 'Winged Victory). A particular form of this historic Greek monument was chosen by each nation, except the nations in the Far East who issued the medal but with a different design. The dates of the war were in every case 1914 to 1918, except that of the British Empire, which gave the dates as illustrated (1914 to 1919).

The medal was issued to all those who received the 1914 Star or the 1914–15 Star, and to most of those who were awarded the British War Medal - it was not awarded singly. These three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.

Eligibility

To qualify for the Victory Medal recipients had to be mobilised for war service in the United Kingdom or the British Empire, in any service, and to have entered a theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Women qualified for this and the earlier two medals, for service in nursing homes and other auxiliary forces.

It was also awarded to members of the British Naval mission to Russia 1919 - 1920, and for mine clearance in the North Sea between 11 November 1918 and 30 November 1919

Description

  • The Victory Medal issued within the British Empire as a result of an international agreement at the Inter-allied Peace Conference immediately preceding the Treaty of Versailles is a 36mm diameter circular copper medal, lacquered in bronze[citation needed]. The obverse in the British Empire medal shows the winged, full-length, full-front, figure of 'Victory' (or 'Victoria'), also figuring in all other medals by the nations as cited, but in this case (the British Empire) with her left arm extended and holding a palm branch in her right hand, this being in common with the previously (pre-war) created British Empire statue in the Victoria Memorial, London (which contains also a statue of the Queen and Empress with the title 'VICTORIA REGINA IMPERATRIX').
  • The reverse has the words ‘THE GREAT / WAR FOR / CIVILISATION / 1914-1919' in four lines, all surrounded by a laurel wreath.
  • The 39mm wide ribbon has a iridescent colour scheme, with the violet moving through to a central red stripe where both schemes meet.
  • Those personnel "Mentioned in Despatches" between 4 August 1914 and 10 August 1920 wear an oak leaf on the medal's ribbon.