The War Medal 1939-1945:
The War Medal 1939-1945 was
awarded to those who had served in the
Armed Forces and Merchant Marines
full-time for at least 28 days between
1945. In the Merchant Navy, the 28
days must have been served at sea.
Generally awarded if
the service period qualified for one of the Stars and if
terminated by death, disability due to service or capture as a
The British issue medals were made of cupro-nickel (others were silver (.800 fine), 36mm in diameter). The obverse shows the crowned coinage effigy of King George VI, facing left, and the legend GEORGIVS VI D : BR : OMN : REX ET INDIAE IMP :
The reverse shows a lion standing on the body of a double-headed dragon. The dragons heads are those of an eagle and a dragon to signify the principal occidental and oriental enemies. At the top, just right of centre are the dates 1939/1945 in two lines.The ribbon is 1.25 inches wide and consists of 7 coloured stripes: red, dark blue, white, narrow red (centre), white, dark blue, and red, representing the colours of the Union Flag.
The medals were issued unnamed; except those awarded to personnel of the Canadian Merchant Marine, RCMP, South African and Australian forces, which were named on the rim. A single bronze oak leaf emblem is worn to signify a 'Mentioned in Despatches' and a silver oak leaf is worn to signify an award of a King's Commendation for Brave Conduct. There is no bar other than these emblems. The War Medal in cupro-nickel is worth between £10 - £12. The Canadian version of the medal in silver is worth between £12 and £15.
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