Awards and Gifts

Several awards and gifts were made to servicemen of the First World War some during the conflict and some in the years that followed. Herbert Halliday's are still in family possession...

Campaign medals and Silver War Badge

British campaign medals have been awarded for most major campaigns since Waterloo. For the First World War five different campaign medals were awarded. These were: the 1914 Star, 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal 1914-20, the Victory Medal 1914-19 and the Territorial Force War Medal 1914-19. Usually the maximum number awarded to an individual was three. The Silver War Badge was issued to those servicemen who were discharged due to wounds or sickness. Below are Herbert's medals, Silver War Badge and memorabilia from his uniform.

Herbert's medals

  1. 1914-15 Star, Victory Medal and British War Medal.
  2. Silver War Badge with a Royal Field Artillery uniform button on either side.
  3. Two Royal Field Artillery shoulder titles.
  4. Royal Field Artillery cap badge with two uniform buttons either side and one below.

1914-15 Star

The 1914-15 Star was authorised in 1918. For the army it was awarded to all individuals who served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war at any time between 23rd November 1914 and 31st December 1915. The decoration is a four-pointed bronze star with the top point ending in a crown. There are a pair of crossed swords with the inscription '1914 - 15' in the centre. The ribbon is red, white and blue. The back is plain and stamped '79709 GNR. H. HALLIDAY RFA'. Over two million 1914-15 Stars were awarded.

Victory Medal

The Victory Medal was authorised in 1919. For the army it was awarded to all individuals who served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war. The decoration is bronze and shows a winged figure of Victory holding a palm branch. On the reverse side is the inscription 'THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILIZATION' inside a wreath. The ribbon is red in the centre, with green and violet on either side shaded to form the colours of two rainbows. On the rim is inscribed 'GNR. H. HALLIDAY R.A. 79709'. About 5.75 million Victory Medals were issued.

British War Medal

The British War Medal was authorised in 1919. For the army it was awarded to all individuals who served overseas (but not necessarily in a theatre of war) between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918. It was later amended to include service in Russia between 1919 and 1920. The decoration shows the head of king George V. On the reverse side shows St George on horseback trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the Central Powers with a skull and crossbones. The ribbon has an orange watered centre with stripes of white and black at each side and borders of royal blue. On the rim is inscribed 'GNR. H. HALLIDAY R.A. 79709'. About 6.5 million British War Medals were issued.

Silver War Badge

The Silver War Badge was authorised in September 1916. It was awarded to all officers and men who had served since 4th August 1914 and had retired due to old age, or been discharged due to wounds or sickness. Originally the Silver War Badge was only awarded to those who were rendered permanently unfit for further military service. However, in January 1919 this condition was removed. The award is a silver circular lapel badge and is inscribed 'FOR KING AND EMPIRE SERVICES RENDERED'.

Princess Mary's Christmas Box

Princess Mary's Christmas Box Princess Mary made an appeal to the public on the 14th October 1914 for funds in order that a Christmas gift might be sent to all soldiers and sailors at the front on Christmas day 1914. In November 1914 the scheme was extended to all those in uniform on Christmas Day. The result of the fund was the Christmas box with contents which varied depending on the recipient. The box is brass with the head of the Princess in the centre and the words 'CHRISTMAS 1914' below. Britain and her allies are named around the outside. Due to wartime difficulties gifts were still being distributed in April 1919. Herbert Halliday received this gift which still has its cardboard box addressed to Driver H. Halliday RFA at his address of 12 Union Street, Rawtenstall. The contents no longer exist. The date sent is unknown.