Lists of abbreviations used on Commonwealth World War I medals

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When a World War I medal was issued to a member of Commonwealth forces, it was issued with a Service Number, Rank, Name and Regiment.[citation needed] This information should be on every medal that was issued during the First World War.[citation needed]

During World War I, there were four main medals issued: the 1914 Star, 1914-15 Star, Victory Medal, and the British War Medal.

From Left 1914-15 Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal

Service Number[edit]

From a service number it is sometimes possible to determine in which part of the army a medal holder served.[citation needed] However, this is not always the case.[1]

Abbreviations for Rank and Unit[edit]

There are many abbreviations for the rank and unit. The British National archive gives full listings of both Ranks and Units.[2][3]

Medal Card Abbreviations[edit]

Theatres Of War[citation needed]
  • 1 Western Europe
    • a France and Belgium
    • b Italy
  • 2 Balkans
    • a Greek Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria and European Turkey
    • b Gallipoli (Dardanelles)
  • 3 Russia (4–5 August 1914 to 1–2 July 1920)
  • 4 Egypt
    • a 4–5 November 1914 to 18–19 March 1916
    • b 18–19 March 1916 to 31 October - 1 November 1918
  • 5 Africa
    • a East Africa, Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia
    • b South West Africa
    • c Cameroon
    • d Nigeria
    • e Togoland
  • 6 Asia
    • a Hedjaz
    • b Mesopotamia
    • c Persia
    • d Trans Caspia
    • e South West Arabia
    • f Aden
    • g Frontier regions of India
    • h Tsingtau
  • 7 Australasia
    • a New Britain
    • b New Ireland
    • c Kaiser Wilhelmland
    • d Admiralty Islands
    • e Nauru
    • f German Samoa

Prefix letters and numbers[edit]

The following is an estimated[clarification needed] list of all the Prefix Letter & Numbers (of what?).[4]

Prefixes on medals issues to members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force
  • 1/ - Samoan Advance Force
  • 2/ - Artillery
  • 3/ - Medical Corps
  • 4/ - Engineers
  • 5/ - Service Corps
  • 6/ - Canterbury Infantry
  • 7/ - Canterbury Mounted Rifles
  • 8/ - Otago Rifles
  • 9/ - Otago Mounted Rifles
  • 10/ - Wellington Rifles
  • 11/ - Wellington Mounted Rifles
  • 12/ - Auckland Rifles
  • 13/ - Auckland Mounted Rifles
  • 14/ - Army Service Corps Divisional Train
  • 15/ - Headquarters Staff
  • 16/ - Maori Battalion
  • 17/ - Veterinary Corps
  • 18/ - Chaplains Department
  • 19/ - Samoan Relief Force, Infantry
  • 20/ - Samoan Relief Force, Mounted Rifles
  • 21/ - Army Pay Corps
  • 22/ - Nursing Service
  • 23/ - 1st Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade
  • 24/ - 2nd Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade
  • 25/ - 3rd Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade
  • 26/ - 4th Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Prefixes on Silver War Badge
  • A - Australia Silver War Badge Prefix
  • B - Unknown Silver War Badge Prefix
  • I - India Silver War Badge Prefix
  • MN - Merchant Navy Silver War Badge Prefix
  • NZ - New Zealand Silver War Badge Prefix
  • O - Unknown Silver War Badge Prefix
  • RAF - Royal Air Force Silver War Badge Prefix
  • RM - Royal Marines Silver War Badge Prefix
  • RN - Royal Navy Silver War Badge Prefix
  • SA - South Africa Silver War Badge Prefix
Others
  • 3/ - Seaforth Highlanders 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • 3/ - Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • 3/ - Royal Berkshire Regiment 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • 3/ - Gordon Highlanders 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • 3/ - Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • 3/ - Royal Highlanders 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • 3/ - Cameron Highlanders 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • 4/ - Royal Irish Rifles 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion
  • 5/ - Connaught Rangers 5th (Service) Battalion
  • 15/ - West Yorkshire Regiment 15th (Leeds Pals) Battalion
  • A - Army Service Corps Old Army Special Reserve
  • A - King's Royal Rifle Corps Early wartime recruits
  • A - Royal Scots Fusiliers 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • A - King's Own Scottish Borderers 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • A - Highland Light Infantry 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • A - Scottish Rifles 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • A - Army Ordnance Corps
  • A - Royal Fleet Reserve First period of enlistment
  • A (HT) - Army Service Corps Horse Transport Special Reserve
  • AA - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Anti-Aircraft
  • ARMR - Army Ordnance Corps Armourer
  • ASE / ASR - Army Service Corps
  • B - Royal Fusiliers 26th (Banker's) Battalion
  • B - Royal Fleet Reserve Second Period of Enlistment
  • B - King's Royal Rifle Corps
  • B - Highland Light Infantry
  • B - Scottish Rifles 4th (Special Reserve) Battalion
  • B / BZ - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Bristol Division
  • B - Army Service Corps Special Reserve
  • B (HT) - Army Service Corps Horse Transport Special Reserve TF
  • C - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Clyde Division
  • C - King's Royal Rifle Corps 16th Battalion onwards enlistment
  • C - Royal Fleet Reserve 3rd Period of Enlistment
  • C - Royal Munster Fusiliers 1st Garrison Battalion
  • C - Middlesex Regiment
  • C - Rifle Brigade
  • C - Royal Fleet Reserve Chatham / Royal Navy Chatham
  • C (MT) - Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport Special Reserve
  • CAT - Army Service Corps Caterpillar Mechanical Transport
  • CH - Royal Marines Chatham Division / Royal Marine Light Infantry / Royal Fleet Reserve Chatham
  • CH/RMP - Royal Marine Police Chatham
  • CHT - Army Service Corps, Corps of Horse Transport
  • CMT - Army Service Corps, Corps of Motor Transport
  • CZ - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Clyde Division wartime enlsitment
  • D - Dragoons
  • D - Royal Fleet Reserve Devonport
  • D - Royal Navy Devonport
  • DEAL - Royal Marines Deal Depot
  • DEPOT / D - Royal Marine Light Infantry Deal Depot Permanent Staff
  • DEV - Royal Fleet Reserve Devonport
  • DM2 - Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport Learners, discontinued 11/16
  • E - Royal Fusiliers 17th (Empire) Battalion
  • E - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Birmingham Electrical Volunteers
  • E - Army Service Corps Forage (ordinary rates of army pay)
  • EX - Royal Marines Exton Division (World War II Only)
  • F - Middlesex Regiment 17th & 23rd (Football) Battalions
  • F - Royal Naval Air Service / Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm
  • F - Army Service Corps Forage (not paid from Army Funds)
  • G - Royal Irish Fusiliers 1st, 2nd 3rd (Garrison) Battalion
  • G - Home Counties Regiments New Army men and later
  • GOA - Royal Navy Goa
  • GS - British Army General Service Enlistment
  • GSR / GSSR - Royal Sussex Regiment Special Reserve, enlisted under hostilities only terms
  • J - Royal Navy Seaman branch Prefix
  • J - Royal Fusiliers 38th, 39th 40th, 42nd (Judean) Battalions
  • J - Royal Navy Seamen and Communications
  • K - "Kitchener battalion"???
  • K - Royal Navy Stokers and Mechanicians
  • K - Royal Fusiliers 22nd (Kensington) Battalion
  • KP / KW / KX - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Crystal Palace Enlistment from Kitchener's New Armies
  • L - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve London Division
  • L - Lancers
  • L - Home Counties Regiments Regulars
  • L - Royal Artillery Wartime enlistment
  • L - South Wales Borderers 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
  • L - Royal Navy Officers' Stewards, some Officers' Cooks
  • L - Royal Navy Lee-on-Solent (FAA)
  • LSR - Royal Sussex Regiment Special Reserve, enlisted under regular terms
  • LZ - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve London Division wartime enlistment
  • M - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Mersey Division
  • M - Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport
  • M - Royal Navy Miscellaneous enlistments (e.g. writers etc.)
  • M - Royal Navy Others - Artificers, Electrical, Supply etc.
  • M1 & 2 /(SR) - Army Service Corps Enlisted Special Reserve for New Armies
  • M1, 2 - Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport
  • MALTA - Royal Navy Malta
  • MB - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Motor Boat Reserve
  • MC - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Mine Clearance Service
  • MFA - Mercantile Fleet Auxiliary
  • MS - Army Service Corps Mechanical Specials
  • MZ - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Mersey Division wartime enlistment
  • N - Royal Army Medical Corps
  • O - Rifle Brigade
  • P - Military Foot Police
  • P - Royal Fleet Reserve Portsmouth / Royal Navy Portsmouth
  • P - Dragoon Guards
  • PET - Army Service Corps Petroleum Dept
  • PLY - Royal Marines Plymouth Division RMLI
    • PLY/RMP - Royal Marine Police Plymouth
  • PO - Royal Marines Portsmouth Division RMLI
    • PO/RMP - Royal Marine Police Portsmouth
  • PO - Royal Fleet Reserve Portsmouth
  • PS - Royal Fusiliers 18th, 19th, 20th & 21st (Public Schools) Battalions
  • PS - Middlesex Regiment 16th (Public Schools) Battalion
  • PW - Middlesex Regiment 18th, 19th & 26th (Public Works) Battalions
  • PZ - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Crystal Palace Enlistment from civilian life
  • R - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • R - Army Service Corps Remounts
  • R - King's Royal Rifle Corps Later recruits up to 16th Battalion
  • R4, RX4 - Army Service Corps 1st/2nd/3rd/4th New Armies Remounts
  • RMA - Royal Marines Artillery
  • RMB - Royal Marines Band
  • RME - Royal Marines Engineers
  • RS & R/TS - Army Service Corps Remount Specials
  • RX - Army Service Corps Army Remount Section
  • S - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Sussex Division
  • S - Army Service Corps Supply Branch
  • S - Scottish Regiments Wartime Enlistment
  • S - Royal Army Medical Corps
  • S - Royal Artillery
  • S - Highland Regiments Wartime Enlistment
  • S - Home Counties Regiments 3rd Battalion
  • S - Rifle Brigade
  • S - Royal Munster Fusiliers
  • S - Army Ordnance Corps
  • S - Dorset Regiment
  • S1, 2, 3, 4 - Army Service Corps 1st/2nd/3rd/4th New Armies Supply (S4 Labour)
  • SD - Sussex Regiment 11th, 12th & 13th (South Downs) Battalions
  • SE - Army Veterinary Corps 9th Section
  • SF - Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm (Short Service)
  • SK - Royal Navy Stokers (Short Service)
  • SM - Royal Navy Miscellaneous (Short Service)
  • SPTS - Royal Fusiliers 23rd & 24th (Sportsman) Battalions
  • SR - British Army Special Reserve ?
  • SRMT - Army Service Corps Special Reserve Motor Transport
  • SS - Army Service Corps Supply Specials
  • SS - Royal Navy Seamen and Communications (Short Service)
  • STK - Royal Fusiliers 10th (Stockbroker's) Battalion
  • SWS - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Shore Wireless Service
  • SZ - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Sussex Division wartime enlistment
  • T - Army Service Corps Horse Transport
  • T - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Tyne Division
  • T - Army Ordnance Corps
  • T / TF - Territorial Force
  • T1 & 2/(SR) - Army Service Corps Enlisted Special Reserve for New Armies
  • T1, 2, 3, 4 - Army Service Corps 1st/2nd/3rd/4th New Armies Horse Transport
  • TR - Trimmer (Royal Navy, Mercantile Fleet Auxiliary etc.)
  • TS - Army Service Corps Transport Specials
  • TT - Army Veterinary Corps Territorial Force ?
  • TZ - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Tyne Division wartime enlistment
  • W - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Wales Division
  • W - Cheshire Regiment 13th (Wirral) Battalion
  • W - Royal Artillery 38th (Welsh) Division
  • WR - Royal Engineers Waterways and Railways
  • WT4 - Welsh Army Service Corps (see T4 above)
  • WZ - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Wales Division wartime enlistment
  • Y - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Deferred enlistment (replaced by divisional prefix on actual enlistment)
  • Y - King's Royal Rifle Corps Early wartime enlistment
  • Z - Rifle Brigade

References[edit]

  1. ^ This does not apply to the Silver War Badge (SWB), which has its own code.
  2. ^ Rank abbreviations British National Archives
  3. ^ Unit abbreviations British National Archives.
  4. ^ http://www.britishmedalforum.com - Useless reference: needs a username & password

External links[edit]