Q: I’d like to know something about this World War I medal that belonged to my grandfather. It has a figure of a woman with big wings, holding a palm branch in one hand, the other arm outstretched. There is a laurel wreath with the words “The Great War for Civilization, 1914-1919” on the back.
A: This is a bronze Victory Medal, also called the Allied Victory Medal. The war was called “The Great War” and was not commonly called World War I until the 1930s. After the war ended, each of the allied nations awarded their own version of the Victory medal to their troops. The medals were similar in design and had the same color ribbons, which represented the colors in the flags of the allied nations. The woman on the medal represents the Greek goddess Victory. Your grandfather’s medal was given by Great Britain to their troops who served in World War I. The name, rank, unit and service number of the person awarded the medal was impressed on the edge. Not all British soldiers received the medal. It was awarded only to those who had also been awarded the Star or the British War Medal. About 5,700,000 medals were given out. Value is about $20-$30.
Photo: Ebay (similar to the one described)