THE 1914 - 1915 STAR
This award was sanctioned in December 1918 and is nearly identical in design to the 1914 Star, the only difference being that the central date is ‘1914-15’ and the upper and lower scrolls bearing the months ‘Aug’ and ‘Nov’ are omitted.
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It was awarded to all British, Dominion and Imperial military personnel serving overseas in the three armed services in any theatre of war on land, sea or in the air, between the 5th August 1914 and the 31st December 1915. Those awarded the 1914 Star were not eligible. Therefore, army and airforce recipients of the 1914-15 Star, who were awarded the medal for service in France or Belgium, must have therefore entered that theatre of war between the 23rd November 1914 and 31st December 1915.
Medical staff, nurses, nursing sisters and civilian practitioners who satisfied the above criteria also qualified; as did service with numerous officially recognised voluntary organisations such as the British Red Cross Society.
Members of the Mercantile Marine were required to be serving under what was termed Special Naval Engagements (basically agreeing to serve with the Royal Navy in times of war), and civilians attached to the Navy to have served on a warship at sea. Officers and men of the Royal Navy were required to have 28 days mobilised service at sea or, as in the case of the RND, serviced on land in a designated theatre of war. Certain naval occupations did not qualify, such as harbour service and boom defence ships, depot ships that did not go to sea and service at a shore base or depot outside the war zone.
Service against tribesmen in certain areas of the North West Frontier of India also qualified between the dates 28th November 1914 and 27th October 1915. Service in Africa which qualified for either the Africa General Service Medal or the Sudan 1910 Medal did not count however. In common with all the British Great War service medals, Ireland counted as 'home service' and therefore did not qualify
As over two million were struck, it is an extremely common award. The ribbon is identical to the 1914 Star. As with the 1914 Star, recipients were automatically entitled to the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
MEDAL NAMING TO THE RECIPIENT
THE 1914 STAR
Impressed on the reverse with the the recipient's number, rank, name and unit as on embarkation in France or Belgium, in two or three lines of impressed capitals. Unlike the other Great War service medals, the battalion is usually indicated - for example 1/G.GDS (1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards). Officers, of course do not have service numbers, so only the rank and unit is shown.
Naming on the reverse is identical to the 1914 Star, though the battalion is rarely indicated (a notable exception being the London Regiment). The rank and unit impressed on the medal was that which the recipient was serving in on first embarkation to the qualifying theatre of war. In the case of naval personnel the ship is not named, except for those issued to the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Capt J. Smith
Pte. J. Smith,