This article is about the First World War Victory Medal and will explain how a soldier qualified for the medal, provide a description of the Victory Medal and help you to find its records. I have also written articles about the other campaign medals of the First World War which can be viewed by clicking the links below:
I also offer a First World War Soldier Research Service.
The First World War Victory Medal
The Victory Medal was awarded to all servicemen and women who served in a theatre of war between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 and automatically qualified its recipient for the British War Medal. The Victory Medal was never awarded on its own. Soldiers continued to be eligible for the medal post-Armistice if they served in Trans-Capia (present-day Turkmenistan) and Northern Russian in 1919. If a soldier was Mentioned-in-Despatches, then a single oak leaf clasp could be worn on the medal’s ribbon.
The medal is also known as the Allied Victory Medal and was born out of the idea to issue a medal for all the Allied nations, with Victory on the obverse. The rainbow-coloured ribbon is a blend of all the flags of the Allied nations to represent their unity.
Description of the Victory Medal
Obverse: Winged figure of Victory clutching a palm branch (symbolizing victory and triumph) with her right hand while extending her left arm.
Reverse: A wreath surrounding “THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION 1914-1919”.
Size: 36 mm.
Metal: 84.5% Copper and 15.5% Zinc.
Naming: The medal is named in impressed capitals around the rim.
Number Issued: 5.75 Million.
Designer: William McMillan, whose initials WMcM can be seen next to Victory’s left foot.
Records for the WW1 Victory Medal
There are two sets of records for the Victory Medal, the Medal Index Card and British War Medal and Victory Medal Roll. I have written a guide to these medals: Researching First World War Medal Records. Both of these records can be viewed on Ancestry and the Medal Index Cards are usually free to view and download. If you click on the banner below you’ll be taken to Ancestry.
If you are researching a soldier who served in the First World War click on the photograph below to learn more about the research service I offer.