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15/08/2020 17:59pm

British Inter-Allied Victory Medal 1914-1920

Conflict
 
World War I.
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
History
 
The British Inter-Allied Victory Medal was a British Empire campaign medal presented for service during World War I. The medal was instituted in 1919 and was awarded to all those who had been mobilised in any service and had entered an officially recognised theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.
 
Women qualified for this and the earlier two medals (1914 or 1914-15 Star and the British War Medal), 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.
 
When awarded along with the 1914 or 1914-15 Star and British War Medal these three medals were collectively referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred with Pip representing either the 1914 or the 1914-15 Star, (only one of which could be awarded to a soldier); Squeak represented the British War Medal; and Wilfred represented the Victory Medal. Some 6,335,000 British and Commonwealth Victory Medals were awarded.
 
The Victory Medal was instituted within the British Empire as a result of an international agreement at the Inter-allied Peace Conference immediately preceding the Treaty of Versailles which was signed in June 1919. The basic design (a ‘Winged Victory’) and ‘rainbow’ ribbon was adopted by Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Union of South Africa and the USA. Siam and Japan also issued the medal but with a different design - although the ribbon matched that of the others.
 
Description
 
The medal is circular, 36mm in diameter and was struck in copper then gilded in bronze. The obverse of this medal depicts the winged, full-length, full-front, figure of ‘Victory’ (or ‘Victoria’) - also figuring in all other medals by the nations as cited - but in this case (the British Empire) with her left arm extended and she holds a palm branch in her right hand, this being in common with the previously (pre-war) created British Empire statue in the Victoria Memorial, London (which contains also a statue of the Queen and Empress with the title; ‘VICTORIA REGINA IMPERATRIX’).
 
The reverse has the inscription; ‘THE GREAT | WAR FOR | CIVILISATION | 1914-1919' in four lines, all surrounded by a laurel wreath.
 
The medal was suspended by a ring through a laterally pierced mount fixed to the top of the medal.
 
The recipient's details can be found on the medal's rim indented in capital letters.
 
Ribbon
 
 
The ribbon is 37mm wide and is the silk moiré rainbow coloured design common to all the Inter-Allied Victory Medals issued by the First World War Allies.
 
Bars/Clasps
 
None were authorised for this medal.
 
If the recipient was ‘mentioned in despatches’ between 4 August 1914 and 10 August 1920 this was noted by the wearing of ‘oak leaf’ emblem on the medal's ribbon.
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
Dealer Retail Value *
 
British Inter-Allied Victory Medal 1914-1920 **
£15.00+
 
* It should be noted that the values quoted above reflect the average price that a medal dealer may expect to sell this medal for - please see the ‘things you should know’ web page for more details about valuing medals.
 
** The individual medal value will vary considerably based on the recipient’s details.
 
Further Historical Context
 
This section contains information on:-
 
- The Armistice Of 1918.
- The Treaty of Versailles.
- The Entente Powers.
 
The Armistice Of 1918 - The armistice between the Allies and Germany - also known as the 'Armistice of Compiègne' after the location it was signed - was the agreement that ended the fighting in western Europe that comprised the First World War.
 
It went into effect at 11a.m. on 11 November 1918, and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not technically a surrender. The Germans were responding to the policies proposed by American president Woodrow Wilson in his Fourteen Points of January 1918.
 
The actual terms, largely written by French Marshal Ferdinand Foch, included the cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of German troops to behind their own borders, the preservation of infrastructure, the exchange of prisoners, and a promise of reparations, the disposition of German warships and submarines, and conditions for prolonging or terminating the armistice.
 
Although the armistice ended the actual fighting, it took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty, the Treaty of Versailles.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Treaty of Versailles - The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
 
The other Central Powers on the German side of World War I were dealt with in separate treaties. Although the armistice, signed on 11 November 1918, ended the actual fighting, it took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty. The treaty was registered by the Secretariat of the League of Nations on 21 October 1919, and was printed in The League of Nations Treaty Series.
 
Of the many provisions in the treaty, one of the most important and controversial required 'Germany (to) accept the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage', during the war (the other members of the Central Powers signed treaties containing similar articles).
 
This article, Article 231, later became known as the War Guilt clause. The treaty forced Germany to disarm, make substantial territorial concessions, and pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Entente powers. In 1921 the total cost of these reparations was assessed at 132 billion Marks (then $31.4 billion or £6.6 billion, roughly equivalent to US $442 billion or UK £284 billion in 2014).
 
At the time economists, notably John Maynard Keynes predicted that the treaty was too harsh - a 'Carthaginian peace', and said the figure was excessive and counter-productive. The historian Sally Marks judged the reparation figure to be lenient, a sum that was designed to look imposing but was in fact not, that had little impact on the German economy and analysed the treaty as a whole to be quite restrained and not as harsh as it could have been.
 
The result of these competing and sometimes conflicting goals among the victors was a compromise that left none contented: Germany was not pacified or conciliated, nor permanently weakened. The problems that arose from the treaty would lead to the Locarno Treaties, which improved relations between Germany and the other European Powers, and the renegotiation of the reparation system resulting in the 'Dawes Plan', the 'Young Plan', and finally the postponement of reparations at the Lausanne Conference of 1932. The reparations were finally paid off by Germany after World War II.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Entente Powers - The Entente Powers or Allies were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the French Republic, the British Empire and the Russian Empire; Italy ended its alliance with the Central Powers and entered the war on the side of the Entente in 1915. Japan, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania and the Czechoslovak legions were secondary members of the Entente.
 
The United States declared war on Germany in 1917 on the grounds that Germany violated U.S. neutrality by attacking international shipping and because of the Zimmermann Telegram sent to Mexico.
 
The U.S. entered the war as an ‘associated power’, rather than a formal ally of France and the United Kingdom, in order to avoid ‘foreign entanglements’. Although the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria severed relations with the United States, neither declared war.
 
Although the Dominions and Crown Colonies of the British Empire made significant contributions to the Allied war effort, they did not have independent foreign policies during World War I. Operational control of British Empire forces was in the hands of the five-member British War Cabinet (BWC).
 
However, the Dominion governments controlled recruiting, and did remove personnel from front-line duties as they saw fit.
 
From early 1917 the BWC was superseded by the Imperial War Cabinet, which had Dominion representation. The Australian Corps and Canadian Corps were placed for the first time under the command of Australian and Canadian Lieutenant Generals John Monash and Arthur Currie, respectively, who reported in turn to British generals.
 
In April 1918, operational control of all Entente forces on the Western Front passed to the new supreme commander, Ferdinand Foch.
 
The only countries represented in the 1918 armistice which ended the combat were Britain, France and Germany.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.