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    How many total British Campaign/Service Medals were issued in Silver for Combatants and Bronze for Non-Combants such as cooks, grooms, etc.
    I know of at least 2
    1.) India General Service Medal (1895-1902) 2nd one
    2.) British War Medal 1914-20
    I cann’t remember if the the 1st India General Service Medal (1854-1895) or the 3rd India General Service Medal (1908-1935) did.


    The bronze medals are really a fascinating subject and are a sub-theme of mine.

    They officially began in 1885 among the Indian Army (there was an Army Circular published 27 May 1885 revising the existing regulations to include non-combatants). After WWI, there was not a specific bronze version of a silver medal issued. All the medals below were to men who served, at least at some time, in the Indian Army. The ranks are interesting and can provide insight into how the Indian Army functioned.

    To answer your question, the medals with both bronze and silver medals were as follows.

    India General Service Medal 1849-1895 – bronze medals only issued from 1885 onwards.

    Royal Niger Company Medal 1886-99

    East and West Africa Medal 1887-1900

    Central Africa Medal 1891-98

    India General Service Medal 1895-1902

    Queen’s Sudan Medal 1896-98

    Khedive’s Sudan Medal 1896-1908

    East and Central Africa Medal 1897-99

    British North Borneo Company Medal 1897-1916

    Africa General Service Medal 1899-1956 (Kenya clasp had no Bronze issues)

    Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899-1902 (no bronze medals issued with clasps although the men were often entitled to clasps)

    China Medal 1900

    Ashanti Medal 1900

    Tibet Medal 1903-04

    India General Service Medal 1908-35 (bronze only in clasps North West Frontier 1908 and Abor 1911-12)

    Khedive’s Sudan Medal 1910-22

    British War Medal 1914-1920


    John, Thanks for the information. I do have one question. If a person was a combatant and was awarded the medal in silver and was later discharged from service but qualifies have a later clasp for the medal as a non-combantant, do they wear the later clasps in bronze on their silver issued medal along with any clasps in silver they may have one?


    If a man already had the medal in silver he should have been issued the further clasp in silver even if he served in a non-combatant role (only entitled to the bronze version).

    Although I do not have an example to show, there were occasionally double medals issued. Hypothetically speaking, a Sweeper in an Indian regiment was issued a silver IGS 1849-95 with the clasp Jowaki 1877-8 (all medals issued with this clasp were silver). His regiment later serves in Burma and is awarded the Burma 1885-7 medal clasp, he should only be given the silver clasp to have added to his existing medal but, due to administrative incompetence or oversight, he is issued a separate bronze medal with clasp.

    Occasionally you also see bronze medals that have been silver dipped. I have a bronze Queen’s South Africa medal that was issued in bronze but has been silver dipped but most of the silver has worn off. I will never know if it was done by the man who originally wore it and believed he deserved a silver example or if it was done by someone later in an attempt to deceive.



    Thanks again John,
    I do have other british medal questions that I have wandered about for years. I will finally ask then in a post. However since you Mentioned the Queen’s South Africa Medal, I will ask you this question here. I know the Queen’s South Africa Medal and Queen’s Mediterranean Medal, both used the same ribbon and were awarded around the same time. Was it possible for a person to be awarded both medals and if so can they wear both?


    I am no expert on the QSA but I believe that it and the Mediterranean Medal are mutually exclusive.

    I know that the Mediterranean Medals were issued to men in the 3rd Battalion, or militia battalion, of their regiments. From another forum, I see that there are at least 3 examples of men who earned the Mediterranean Medal and later qualified for the QSA. At least one QSA exists on the market to a man who is also on the Mediterranean Medal roll; the other two examples show medals returned but they have not been sighted on the market. It is unclear if they all had to return the Mediterranean Medal, one man is shown on the roll having returned his Mediterranean Medal. Thus it appears that you could not wear both medals.



    I recently came across refence to a British Territorial Force War Medal 1914-19 in one my books on WW1 era medals, What was it issued for?


    The Territorial Force War Medal was a campaign medal awarded to members of the British Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Services who served overseas in World War I; it is the rarest of the five British Great War medals.

    The medal was established in April 1920 for award to members of the Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Services who volunteered for service overseas on or before 30 September 1914, and served overseas. They had to:

      [*] have been serving with the force on 4 August 1914 or[/*:m]
      [*] have completed four years service with the force before 4 August 1914 and rejoined the force on or before 30 September 1914[/*:m][/list:u]
      In addition provided they:
      [*] Undertook, either verbally or by written agreement on or before 30 September 1914 to serve outside the United Kingdom, such agreement being operative after 4 August 1914, and[/*:m]
      [*] Have served outside the United Kingdom between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 (both dates inclusive; note that the last date was in 1918 though the years on the reverse said 1914-19) and[/*:m]
      [*] Did not qualify for the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star[/*:m][/list:u]


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