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05/08/2021 02:50am

1914 Star

World War I.
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
The 1914 Star (also known as the ‘Mons’ Star) was a British Empire campaign medal presented for service during World War I. It was instituted in 1917 and was awarded to the officers and men of the British forces who served in France or Belgium between 5 August and midnight on the 22/23 November 1914.
The former date is the day after Britain's declaration of war against the Central Powers, and the closing date marks the end of the First Battle of Ypres.
The majority of recipients were officers and men of the pre-war British army, specifically the British Expeditionary Force (the ‘Old Contemptibles’ as the Kaiser of Germany named them), who landed in France soon after the outbreak of the war and who took part in the retreat from Mons (hence the nickname 'Mons Star').
Some 365,622 medals were awarded in total.
In most instances, recipients of this medal also received the British War Medal and Victory Medal. These three medals were sometimes referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred with Pip representing either this medal 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.
The medal is of a four pointed star design and was struck in bright bronze, ensigned with a crown, with a height of 50mm, and a maximum width of 45mm.
The obverse of this medal depicts two crossed ‘gladii’ (swords) with blades upwards and a wreath of oak leaves, with the Royal Cypher of King George V at foot and central ‘S’ shaped scroll with the inscription; ‘AUG | 1914 | NOV’.
The reverse is plain with the recipient's details shown in block capital letters in 3 lines in either small or square sans serif capitals.
Those awarded to members of the Royal Naval Division (R.N., R.N.R., R.N.V.R., and R.M.) are impressed in large square serif capitals.
The star is suspended from an integral ring attached to the top of the medal above the crown.
The ribbon is 32mm wide and contains the red, white and blue colours of the French Tri-coloure, in shaded and watered stripes - it is the same ribbon that is used for the 1914-15 Star.
This medal was issued with the following clasps:-
5th Aug.-22nd Nov. 1914
Awarded to all those that participated in operations within range of enemy mobile artillery during the period 5 August and 22 November 1914.
When the ribbon bar was worn alone, recipients of the clasp to the medal wore a small silver rosette on the ribbon bar - hence the term ‘Clasp and Roses’ which can often be seen on the Medal Index Cards of those it was awarded to.
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
Dealer Retail Value *
1914 Star **
1914 Star to R.N. **
1914 Star to R.M. **
1914 Star to R.N.D. **
1914 Star Group to Corps
1914 Star Group to British Regiments
1914 Star Group to Canadian Regiments
1914 Star Group to Australian Regiments
1914 Star Group & Plaque to Corps
1914 Star Group & Plaque to British Regiments
1914 Star Group & Plaque to R.F.C.
1914 Star with original bar **
1914 Star with reproduction (copy) bar **
1914 Star (with bar) Group to Corps
1914 Star (with bar) Group to British Regiments
1914 Star (with bar) Group & Plaque to Corps
1914 Star (with bar) Group & Plaque to British Regiments
A Group also includes the British War Medal & Victory Medal.
* 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 British Expeditionary Force.
- The Battle Of Mons.
- The Great Retreat.
The British Expeditionary Force - The British Expeditionary Force or BEF was the force sent to the Western Front during the First World War. Planning for a British Expeditionary Force began with the Haldane reforms of the British Army carried out by the Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War (1899-1902).
The term 'British Expeditionary Force' is often used to refer only to the forces present in France prior to the end of the First Battle of Ypres on 22 November 1914. By the end of 1914 - after the battles of Mons, the Le Cateau, the Aisne and Ypres - the old regular British army had been wiped out, although it managed to help stop the German advance.
An alternative endpoint of the BEF was 26 December 1914, when it was divided into the First and Second Armies (a third, fourth and fifth being created later in the war). B.E.F. remained the official name of the British Army in France and Flanders throughout the First World War.
Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, who was famously dismissive of the BEF, reportedly issued an order on 19 August 1914 to 'exterminate...the treacherous English and walk over General French's contemptible little army'. Hence, in later years, the survivors of the regular army dubbed themselves 'The Old Contemptibles'.
No evidence of any such order being issued by the Kaiser has ever been found. It was probably a British propaganda invention, albeit one often repeated as fact.
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 Battle Of Mons - The Battle of Mons was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in the First World War. It was a subsidiary action of the Battle of the Frontiers, in which the Allies clashed with Germany on the French borders. At Mons, the British Army attempted to hold the line of the Mons-Condé Canal against the advancing German First Army.
Although the British fought well and inflicted disproportionate casualties on the numerically superior Germans, they were eventually forced to retreat due both to the greater strength of the Germans and the sudden retreat of the French Fifth Army, which exposed the British right flank.
The Great Retreat - also known as the 'Retreat from Mons', is the name given to this long, fighting retreat by Allied forces to the River Marne. Though initially planned as a simple tactical withdrawal and executed in good order, the British retreat from Mons lasted for two weeks and took the BEF to the outskirts of Paris before it counter-attacked in concert with the French, at the Battle of the Marne.
During the retreat, the Allies were closely pursued by the Germans, acting under the 'Schlieffen Plan'.
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.