Victory Medal (United Kingdom)

Victory Medal 1914-19

Obverse (left) and reverse (right) of the medal
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+
Equivalent Victory Medal (South Africa)
Related 1914 Star
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Territorial Force War Medal

Ribbon bar without and with MID emblem

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.[1][2]


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.


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 the 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) 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) 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 approximately 700,000
Poland[7] .... Vlaitov
  • Mint Kremnica
Portugal João Da Silva (1880-1960) 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

The 2005 book The Great War for Civilisation by Robert Fisk takes its title from the reverse legend of the medal, although it is not about the First World War.

See also


  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. 1 2 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.
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