• Andy Robson

Pip, Squeak & Wilfred (World War 1 Campaign Medals)

6.5 million British Soldiers served during World War I and their service records can provide a wealth of information to family historians. Sadly though, about two-thirds of these Service Records, along with many other irreplaceable documents, were lost when the War Office Warehouse in London was gutted by fire following a German air raid in September, 1940. As a result, the service of many soldiers can only be followed through the various Medal Rolls for the War which, fortunately, survive in their entirety.

Due to the huge scale of military service during the First World War, there were very many awards of these Campaign Medals; 2,366,000 awards of the 1914-15 Star; 6,610,000 War Medals; and 5,725,000 Victory Medals. As a result, the trio were given the irreverent nickname of ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’ after a cartoon strip published in the Daily Mirror from 1919 to 1956.

Men who were Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) wore a bronze oak leaf cluster on the Victory Medal; one for each Mention. If a man did not receive a Victory Medal, the cluster was worn on the War Medal instead. If only the medal ribbon was worn, the Cluster was indicated by a small silver rosette.