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The WWI Victory Medal Series – British Empire

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Military Medals274 of 332German Veterans Societies in AmericaThe WWI Victory Medal Series – United States
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Posted 6 years ago


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When Germany invaded Belgium, Britain remained true to the 1839 Treaty of London and came to Belgium’s defense. When it did, a global empire went to war.

The medal was designed by a Scottish sculptor named William McMillan who had served in the trenches during the war. The front of this medal depicts a Britannia type Winged Victory, and the reverse is simply inscribed “The Great War for Civilization 1914-1919” This includes operations that continued in Asia and Russia after the 1918 Armistice. A special bilingual issue of the British Victory Medal was created for South Africa in both English and Dutch, shown in the fourth photo.

Over six million British Empire medals were issued to soldiers from every part of the globe. The edges of British medals are impressed with the serial number, rank, name, and unit of the recipient. Thus, most British Victory Medals can be associated with an individual. Often they can be researched. Unfortunately, about 70% of WWI service records in London were destroyed by German bombing in WWII. However; there are local archives in places across the UK and there are other national archives, such as the one in Canada.

To convey the scope and put a human face on the War, I have sought out medals representative of the various dominions and other lands of the empire:

Top Row:

Private H.O. Carson, New Zealand Expeditionary Force

Private J.C. Cuthill, Scottish Rifles

Private P.J. Gouws, South African Medical Corps

Private D. G. Henderson, 24th Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces

Private A. Hughes, 4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment

Private T.R. Johns, 5th Canadian Infantry

Bottom Row:

Sepoy Ramat Kahn, 71st Punjabis (present India)

Private Kaipira, 1st King’s African Rifles (British East Africa)

Private H.J. Miller, 21st London Regiment

Sepoy Gulam Mohamed, 127th Baluchis (present Pakistan)

Private J. Moynes, Royal Irish Fusiliers

Sepoy Padam Nath, Burmese Military Police

* * * * * * * * * *

Wherever they are now resting, may they rest in peace.

On this anniversary of the Armistice ending that war, Happy Veterans Day to my fellow veterans, and a safe and thoughtful Remembrance Day to you all.


  1. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    I wish that the US had done rim engraving on our Victory medals. It really adds to the desirability when you can trace a soldier.

    Happy Veterans Day to all!

  2. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
    Actually, some of our earlier US medals were serial numbered, and in some of those instances you can research the serial number to find out to whom it was issued. Some of the very first US Victory medals were also serial numbered, but I think those few serial numbered Victories all went to VIPs like Pershing.

    A big reason I chose to to do the British Empire medals on Veteran's Day/Remembrance Day, besides being able to acknowledge multiple countries, in their 6 million + issue, is because these are the actual names of people who served, and that adds a human element that in my opinion, the other medals lack.
  3. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    Well done Chris.

    You posts were educational and interesting to read. The detailed photographs of the actual medals were fantastic.

    Thanks for your service to the Nation and the collecting community!

    Happy Veterans Day.

  4. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 6 years ago
    Thanks for the love, Walksoftly, Kevin, Scott & McGarrett

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