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British Commonwealth War and Campaign Medals Awarded to New Zealanders - The 1914 Star

Obverse View

The 1914 Star obverse view

About the 1914 Star

The 1914 Star was the first of a series instituted between 1917 and 1919 to recognise service in the First World War (1914-1918). It was awarded for service in Belgium and France between 5 August 1914 and 22 November 1914. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Mons Star', only four awards to New Zealand military personnel are known: two to New Zealand nurses and two to New Zealand army officers attached to British forces in the United Kingdom at the outbreak of the war (Colonel Richard Hutton Davies and Major George Spafford Richardson - both officers were later promoted to the rank of Major-General).

The 1914 Star is a crowned four-pointed star with crossed swords and a wreath of oak leaves, with the royal cypher at the foot and a central scroll inscribed "AUG NOV 1914".  The reverse of the 1914 Star is plain, except for the inscribed name and service details of the recipient. The medal is bronze and is attached to the ribbon by a ring.

Throughout the British Empire more than 400,000 1914 Stars were awarded.

About the ribbon

The ribbon is watered silk with red, white and blue stripes. This is the same ribbon as that worn on the 1914-15 Star.

Clasps and Bars

One clasp was issued bearing the dates "5th Aug.- 22nd Nov. 1914", to those who had actually been under fire in Belgium and France in this period. This is the first medal for which the clasp was sewn onto the medal ribbon.

When ribbons only were worn on military uniform, a rosette was worn on the ribbon for the 1914 Star, to denote the award of this clasp.

Order of Wear

The position of this medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.

Further information on the New Zealand military recipients

For information on the careers of Major-General Richard Hutton Davies and Major-General Sir George Spafford Richardson see The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History, edited by Ian McGibbon (published in 2000), pp.133-134 and 450, respectively.

Further information about First World War medals

For more information about First World War medals the following books are recommended:

Alec A. Purves. The Medals, Decorations and Orders of the Great War 1914-1918. 2nd revised edition (1989)

Captain H. Taprell Dorling. Ribbons and Medals. 20th edition (1983). Edited and revised by Alec A. Purves