The 1914–15 Star is a campaign medal of the British Empire which was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served in any theatre of the First World War against the Central European Powers during 1914 and 1915. The medal was never awarded singly and recipients were also awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
|Awarded by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India|
|Eligibility||British and Imperial forces|
|Awarded for||Campaign service|
|Campaign(s)||First World War|
|Order of wear|
|Next (higher)||1914 Star|
|Next (lower)||British War Medal|
Africa General Service Medal
Khedive's Sudan Medal of 1910
The 1914–15 Star was instituted in December 1918 and was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served against the Central European Powers in any theatre of the Great War between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The period of eligibility was prior to the Military Service Act 1916, which introduced conscription in Britain.
No clasp or bar to the medal was approved.
Excluded from eligibility for the medal, were all those who had already qualified for the award of the 1914 Star, those who qualified for the award of the Africa General Service Medal and those who qualified for the award of the Khedive's Sudan Medal of 1910.
Also initially excluded were those who were eligible for the proposed Gallipoli Star, which was to have been awarded almost exclusively to New Zealanders and Australians in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign from 25 April 1915 to 9 January 1916. Following protests by British parliamentarians and news media, the Gallipoli Star was never awarded and the ANZAC veterans were made eligible for the 1914–15 Star instead.
Like the 1914 Star, the 1914–15 Star was never awarded singly and recipients of this medal were also awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal, but only one of the two Stars could be awarded to the same person. The three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred after three comic strip characters, a dog, a penguin and a rabbit, which were popular in the immediate post-war era. Pip represented either of the two Stars, Squeak represented the British War Medal and Wilfred represented the Victory Medal.
The medal is a four-pointed star of bright bronze, ensigned with a crown, with a height of 50 millimetres (62 millimetres with the ring suspension included) and a width of 44 millimetres. The medal and suspension assembly was struck in one piece.
The obverse has two crossed gladii (swords) with their blades upwards, the points and grips of which form what might appear to be four additional points to the star. The swords are overlaid by a wreath of oak leaves, with the Royal Cypher of King George V at the base of the wreath and an overlaying central scroll inscribed "1914–15".
The order of wear of the First World War campaign stars and medals is as follows:
On 6 April 1952 the Union of South Africa instituted its own range of military decorations and medals. These new awards were worn before all earlier British decorations and medals awarded to South Africans, with the exception of the Victoria Cross, which still took precedence before all other awards. Of the First World War campaign medals applicable to South Africans, the 1914–15 Star takes precedence as shown.