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Victory Medal 1914-19

Victory Medal ribbon bar.svg

Victory Medal MID ribbon bar.svg
Obverse (top left) and reverse (top right) of the medal. Ribbons of medal (Bottom Center)
Type Campaign medal
Eligibility British and Imperial forces.
Awarded for Campaign service.
Campaign First World War 1914-20.
Description Bronze disk, 36mm diameter.
Clasps None
Established 1 September 1919
Total awarded 6,334,522+
Related 1914 Star
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Territorial Force War Medal

The Victory Medal (also called the Inter-Allied Victory Medal) is a campaign medal - of which the basic design and ribbon was adopted by Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Siam, Union of South Africa and the USA in accordance with decisions as taken at the Inter-Allied Peace Conference at Versailles as illustrated (a 'Winged Victory) but in a particular form of this historic Greek monument as determined by each nation, with the exception of 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 with 1921 being the year in which the war ended in point of Parliamentary law but in 1919 under common law relating to the status and functions of the monarchy).

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 never awarded singly. These three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.[1][2]


To qualify for the Victory medal one had to be mobilised in any service and 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.


  • 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. 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 ‘two rainbow' design, with the violet from each rainbow on the outside edges moving through to a central red stripe where both rainbows meet.
  • Those personnel "Mentioned in Despatches" between 4 August 1914 and 10 August 1920 wear an oak leaf on the medal's ribbon.

International award

As well as the United Kingdom, a significant number of allied and associated countries involved in the conflict against the Austro-German alliance issued a Victory Medal. The proposition of such common award was first made by French marshal Ferdinand Foch who was supreme commander of the allied force during first world war. Each medal in bronze has the same diameter (36 mm) and ribbon (double rainbow) but with a national design representing a winged victory except for Japan and Siam where the concept of a winged victory was not culturally relevant.

Country Designer Manufacturer Number issued
Belgium Paul Du Bois (1859-1938) ----- 300 000 - 350 000
Brazil Jorge Soubre (1890-1934)
  • Casa da Moeda - Rio de Janeiro
approximately 2 500
Cuba Charles Charles
  • Etablissements Chobillon
6 000 - 7 000
Czechoslovakia Otakar Španiel (1881-1955)
  • Kremnice Mint
approximately 89 500
France Pierre-Alexandre Morlon (1878 - 1951)
  • Monnaie de Paris
approximately 2 000 000
France[4] Charles Charles
  • Etablissements Chobillon
  • M. Pautot
  • Louis Octave Mattei
----- -----
United Kingdom[5] William McMillan (1887–1977) 6 334 522 plus
Greece Henry-Eugène Nocq (1868-1944)
  • V. Canale
approximately 200 000
Italy Gaetano Orsolini (1884-1954)
  • Sacchini-Milano
  • S.Johnson-Milano
  • F.M.Lorioli & Castelli-Milano
approximately 2 000 000
Japan[6] Shoukichi Hata
  • Osaka Mint
approximately 700 000
Poland[7] .... Vlaitov
  • Mint Kremnica
Portugal João Da Silva (1880-1960)
  • Da Costa
approximately 100 000
Romania .... Kristesko ----- approximately 300 000
Siam (Thailand) Itthithepsan Kritakara (1890-1935) ----- approximately 1 500
South Africa[8] William McMillan (1887–1977)
  • Woolwich Arsenal
approximately 75 000
United States James Earle Fraser (1876-1953)
  • Arts Metal Works Inc.
  • S.G.Adams Stamp & Stationary Co.
  • Jos. Mayer Inc.
approximately 2 500 000


  1. "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred". First World Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  2. "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred". The Long, Long Trail. Archived from the original on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  3. The interallied victory medals of World War I by Alexander J. Laslo, Dorado Publishing, Albuquerque. 1986 Edition.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Unofficial type.
  5. Awarded not only to British combatants but as well to those from the dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and those from the Empire of India.
  6. On the obverse the winged figure of Victory was replaced by a warrior holding a spear.
  7. For reasons still not known, Poland did not proceed with the manufacture of the medal at their mint. The medal shows a clearly visible “MK” (Mint Kremnica). The medal may possibly be an unofficial strike by a veterans’ group.
  8. The text on the reverse is in English and Dutch.

See also

External links

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