All You Need to Know About Military Medals and Army Awards in History World Wars 1 and 2

British war and service medals are collected by many and these can be exchanged for pounds worth thousands. The United Kingdom does not have any equivalent of the United States Stolen Valor Act of 2005. This makes it easy to sell or buy these war medals by collectors as well as dealers. All that is important is to be aware of the difference between the campaign medals and the gallantry medals.

Before buying these Military Medals or WW2 Military Awards, it is vital to know the importance of each of these medals.

 

Service/ Campaign Medals

Service medals are also known as campaign medals. They are awarded to servicemen or women who have taken part in a specific campaign or a conflict. Some of the very common of the collectables are the British service WW1 Medals or WW2 Military Awards. These awards are mostly available for purchase in pairs. Collectors can identify these with ease from the Army Ribbons the medals have. One also needs to make sure that the correct ribbon is attached to the medal.

Soldiers who were a part of the Great War were given the War and Victory Medals. The Military Medals will have the name of soldier, the serial number and his regiment stamped on its side. The details of the war records can also be researched using the British Public Record Office. Collectors can also use the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to find info about these medals. One can be lucky enough to trace the living relatives of the medal’s recipient.

Collectors can also find all the needed information about the award of campaign medals by using the medal rolls. Medal rolls though cannot provide information about the individual who received the medal; instead, the service number of the recipient along with the note of clasps is maintained.

Medals for Service and Good Conduct

There are also other kinds of medals known as the long service that was given for good conduct. These medals were given to warrant officers, the non-commissioned officers and officers from other ranks as well. These medals are not dependent on their act/ action during any campaign or conflict.

Some of the service medals one can look for are the 1914 Mons Star, which was awarded to the members of the British Expeditionary Force and from the 1915 Star. Those who wish to collect Army Awards related to the Great War can choose the 1915 Gallipoli Star.  This is also known to be one of the highest prized as a collectable. It is also important to note that the number of individuals’ who have received these medals was very few. This is what makes these medals the most expensive.

Medal collectors can also find a pair of Victory Medals for something in the price range of $40. One can find the Mons Star Medal for $80 or so. The most expensive of the Army Awards is the Victoria Cross, which will cost nothing less than $120,000. The difference in the price is what makes the collectors choose service medals than gallantry medals.

 

The British Gallantry Medals

There are a number of Army Awards that have been awarded to individuals’ for showing an act of Valour. This can be an act of bravery in the presence of an enemy while he/she was serving the British during the World War 1. There are also awards that have been awarded for the individuals meritorious and distinguished services.

The highest award for showing gallantry in the Armed Forces is The Victoria Cross and this is equal to the U.S. Medal of Honour. This honour is very rarely awarded and one can mostly find these in the country’s museums than in some private hands. The Victoria Cross is also given to civilians when under the command of Military during their act of bravery.  One also needs to be a part of some special auctions to get their hands on one.

Some of the other British Gallantry Medals are Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Military Cross etc. The British gallantry medals are interesting as they create a distinction between officers and the individuals from other ranks. An act of bravery when performed by an officer might fetch the officer a Military Cross. The same act performed by a member of ranks will only fetch them Military Medals. Likewise, the officer from the Royal Air Force will receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. The members from the other ranks are only entitled to get the Distinguished Flying Medal.

 

The World War 2 Military Awards

Some of the WW2 Military Awards that were issued are listed below.

  • Atlantic Star
  • Air Crew Europe Star
  • Defence Medal
  • War Medal 1939–1945 (Oak leaf)
  • Canadian Volunteer Service Medal etc.

A number of people are into a collection of the British War medals. This can be a profession or a pastime and can be quite rewarding and interesting at the same time. One can with ease build up an awesome collection of the service medals from World War I and World War II. Though collecting service or campaign medals can be easy, one needs to have good resources to collect the British gallantry medals. Militaria Collectors can find The British gallantry medals mostly at the special auctions only. Collectors who are a part of communities can exchange or purchase the Military Memorabilia Collectables with ease. Collectors can also use various online resources to make their purchases.

Having knowledge about the British War medals and Army Ribbons is of immense help for those take this seriously.  You can find more information about the same online. Collectors can find info about each of the medals or the awards that were awarded to the bravest and courageous soldiers; those who have shown their bravery during the World War I and World War II.

 

References:

http://www.greatwar.co.uk/medals/ww1-gallantry-awards.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_campaign_medals

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/british-military-campaign-and-service-medals/