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British Commonwealth War and Campaign Medals Awarded to New Zealanders - The Victory Medal

Obverse View

The Victory Medal obverse view

Reverse View

The Victory Medal reverse view

About the Victory Medal

The Victory Medal was issued to all those who had already qualified for the 1914 Star or the 1914-15 Star, and to most persons who had already qualified for the British War Medal. The Victory Medal was awarded to all New Zealand troops serving overseas, except for those who arrived in Samoa after 30 August 1914 and those serving in Great Britain only.

The Victory Medal is distinguished by its unique ‘double rainbow' ribbon. Approximately 6 million of these medals were issued to military personnel from the British Empire.

The obverse of the medal depicts the standing figure of Victory holding a palm branch in her right hand and stretching out her left hand. On the reverse of the medal is a laurel wreath containing a four-line inscription: "THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION 1914-1919".  The dates are '1914-1919' to include post-war intervention by the Allied nations in the Russian Civil War. The medal is yellow bronze and is attached to the ribbon by a ring.

This medal is sometimes referred to as the "Allied War Medal", because the same basic design and the double rainbow ribbon were adopted by 13 other Allied nations (though the United States of America alone issued their medal with campaign clasps). The Union of South Africa produced a version of the medal with a reverse text in English and Dutch (not Afrikaans, as is often stated).

About the ribbon

The ribbon is watered silk with a double rainbow, with indigo at the edges and red in the centre.

Clasps and Bars

No clasps or bars were issued for The Victory Medal.

Order of Wear

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

Further information about First World War medals

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