|Awarded by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India|
|Eligibility||British and Imperial forces|
|Awarded for||Campaign service|
|Campaign(s)||First World War|
|Order of wear|
|Next (higher)||1914 Star|
|Next (lower)||British War Medal|
Africa General Service Medal
Khedive's Sudan Medal of 1910
The 1914–15 Star is a campaign medal of the British Empire which was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served in any theatre of the First World War against the Central European Powers during 1914 and 1915. The medal was never awarded singly and recipients were also awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
The 1914–15 Star was instituted in December 1918 and was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served against the Central European Powers in any theatre of the Great War between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The period of eligibility was prior to the introduction of the Military Service Act 1916, which instituted conscription in Britain.
No clasp or bar to the medal was approved.
Excluded from eligibility for the medal, were all those who had already qualified for the award of the 1914 Star, those who qualified for the award of the Africa General Service Medal and those who qualified for the award of the Khedive's Sudan Medal of 1910.
Also initially excluded were those who were eligible for the proposed Gallipoli Star, which was to have been awarded almost exclusively to New Zealanders and Australians in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign from 25 April 1915 to 9 January 1916. Following protests by British parliamentarians and news media, the Gallipoli Star was never awarded and the ANZAC veterans were made eligible for the 1914–15 Star instead.
Like the 1914 Star, the 1914–15 Star was never awarded singly and recipients of this medal were also awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal, but only one of the two Stars could be awarded to the same person. The three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred after three comic strip characters, a dog, a penguin and a rabbit, which were popular in the immediate post-war era. Pip represented either of the two Stars, Squeak represented the British War Medal and Wilfred represented the Victory Medal.
Order of wear
Campaign medals and stars are not listed by name in the order of wear prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, but are all grouped together as taking precedence after the Queen's Medal for Chiefs and before the Polar Medals, in order of the date of the campaign for which awarded.
The order of precedence of the First World War campaign stars and medals is as follows:
- The 1914 Star.
- The 1914–15 Star.
- The British War Medal.
- The Victory Medal (United Kingdom).
- The Territorial War Medal.
- The Mercantile Marine War Medal.
With effect from 6 April 1952, when a new South African set of decorations and medals was instituted to replace the British awards used to date, the older British decorations and medals applicable to South Africa continued to be worn in the same order of precedence but, with the exception of the Victoria Cross, took precedence after all South African orders, decorations and medals awarded to South Africans on or after that date. Of the official British campaign medals which were applicable to South Africans, the 1914–15 Star takes precedence as shown.
The medal is a four-pointed star of bright bronze, ensigned with a crown, with a height of 50 millimetres (62 millimetres with the ring suspension included) and a width of 44 millimetres. The medal and suspension assembly was struck in one piece.
The obverse has two crossed gladii (swords) with their blades upwards, the points and grips of which form what might appear to be four additional points to the star. The swords are overlaid by a wreath of oak leaves, with the Royal Cypher of King George V at the base of the wreath and an overlaying central scroll inscribed "1914–15".
- "The King's Own Royal Regiment Museum, Lancaster – 1914–1915 Star (5th Aug 1914 – 31 Dec 1915)". Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "NZDF Medals - The 1914 - 15 Star". medals.nzdf.mil.nz. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-30.
- Joslin, Litherland, and Simpkin (eds), British Battles and Medals, (1988), spink, p227
- New Zealand Defence Force – British Commonwealth war and campaign medals awarded to New Zealanders – The 1914 – 15 Star Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. (Access date 27 March 2015)
- "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred". First World War.com. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
- "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred". The Long, Long Trail. Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
- The National Archives – British Army medal index cards 1914–1920 (Access date 27 March 2015)
- Veterans Affairs Canada – 1914–1915 Star (Access date 27 March 2015)
- "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3352.
- Government Notice no. 1982 of 1 October 1954 – Order of Precedence of Orders, Decorations and Medals, published in the Government Gazette of 1 October 1954.
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981