Published in Issue 2 (March/April 2022), Letters, Volume 30

Sir,—The short article by Lar Joye on ‘British Army First World War campaign medals’ (HI 29.6, Nov./Dec. 2021) was somewhat interesting. Readers may be interested to know that the British Expeditionary Force referred to was created by Lord Haldane, Secretary of State for War in 1907. It consisted of 120,000 men and had been trained to deal with conflict arising in the Empire’s colonial outposts. It found itself embroiled in a European conflict that many believed would be over by Christmas 1914 but which developed into a major world war. The three medals issued to the men (and, it must be stated, women) consisted of either the 1914 Star/1914–15 Star (the ribbon was the same for both), the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. They were popularly known as ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’. The 1914 Star differed from the 1914–15 Star in that the former had ‘August–November’ etched in the centre of it. A bronze clasp was also issued to those who were within the range of enemy fire in France or Belgium during 5 August–22 November 1914.—Yours etc.,


Above: ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’—the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. (NMI)


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