Only five types of campaign medal were issued.
The British War Medal, 1914-1920
This is the most commonly issued medal.
It is impossible to set out all the details of qualification for this medal, but essentially the requirement was that a member of the fighting forces had to leave his native shore in any part of the British Empire while on service. It did not matter whether he/she entered a theatre of war or not.
All men who served in the main theatres of war qualified for this medal, as did those who left their native shore for service in, for example, India.
The medal is silver and circular. A truncated bust of King George V is on the obverse, while there is a depiction of Saint George on the reverse. There is a straight clasp carrying a watered silk ribbon. This has a central band of golden yellow with three stripes of white, black and blue on both sides. The blue stripes come at the edges. An attempt was made to draw up a list of bars, but it was found to be an overwhelming task and was abandoned.
6, 610, 000 British War Medals were issued.
The soldier's regiment and number are inscribed around the rim.
The Victory Medal, 1914-19
This medal was awarded to all those who entered a theatre of war. It follows that every recipient of the Victory Medal also qualified for the British War Medal, but not the other way round. For example if a soldier served in a garrison in India he would get the BWM but not the Victory Medal. In all, 300, 000 fewer Victory Medals were required than British War Medals. All three armed services were eligible. It is not generally known that Victory Medals continued to be awarded after the Armistice, for the British forces who saw action in North Russia (up to October 12th, 1919) and Trans-Caspia (up to April 17th, 1919) also qualified.