British War Medal 1914-1920 awarded to Pte. James Edward Reilly, service number 3923, 51st Battalion, A.I.F.

Private Reilly was born in Lancefield, Victoria and was a labourer when he joined in Echuca, Victoria, on 9 July 1915, aged 24 years and 10 months. He arrived in Marseilles, France, in June 1916. Just 3 months later on 3 September 1916 he was declared missing in action. It was later confirmed Private Reilly had been killed in action. He was buried in an isolated grave, three quarters of a mile east of Thiepval and subsequently exhumed and reinterred in a war grave. His medals were sent to his father, William Reilly [Riley] in Lancefield.

"The British War Medal 1914-1920, authorised in 1919, was awarded to eligible service personnel and civilians alike. Qualification for the award varied slightly according to service. The basic requirement for army personnel and civilians was that they either entered a theatre of war, or rendered approved service overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Service in Russia in 1919 and 1920 also qualified for the award."

Obverse Description

Bare head of King George V facing left; text around, 'GEORGIVS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND: IMP:'; the artist's initials 'B.M.' (Bertram MacKennal) are on the neck truncation.

Reverse Description

Naked figure of St. George on horseback advancing right trampling a shield bearing an eagle design and a skull and crossbone. Above, the sun; in the background, the ocean; text around, '1914 1918'.

Edge Description

Text; '3923 PTE. J.E. REILLY. 51 BN. A.I.F.'.

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