British War Medal, awarded to Pvt. F. Farrell, 1920
Obverse, a bust of King George V
Reverse, St George on horseback trampling a standard, with a skull and crossbones beneath
British War Medal, 1920
The Great War of 1914-1918 remains the bloodiest conflict in which Britain has ever been engaged. British casualties at Ypres and on the Somme from 1915 to 1918 outnumbered the entire British casualty list for the whole of the Second World War.
This medal was awarded to all members of the British Armed Forces who had fought in the War; some five million were issued. Because of the difficulty, in a conflict that had involved long-range artillery and air bombardment, of deciding eligibility for bars for individual battles, none of these were made. Unlike the Allied Victory Medal, this medal was also awarded to mobilised personnel who had not seen combat.
This example of the medal was awarded to Private F. Farrell of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Lester Watson bought it at some point before 1928.