British War Medal 1914-1920 awarded to Leading Cook Reginald Edward Strickland Smith, service number 1721 of the Royal Australian Navy.
Reginald Smith was born on 31 July 1895 in Warracknabeal. He joined the Navy on 1 June 1912, and served for seven years. His Next of Kin was St Heliers, Derby St, Kew.
One of three mounted medals from World War I, it is engraved "1721 R.E.S. SMITH CKS MATE".
The medals comprise a 1914-15 Star; a British War Medal 1914-18 mounted on a Victory Medal ribbon; and a Victory Medal mounted on a War Medal ribbon.
The 1914-15 Star was authorised in 1918 to be awarded to those who saw service between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915 (excluding those who were eligible for the 1914 Star) - 2,350,000 were issued.
"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." (National Archives, UK) A total of
350,000 British War Medals were issued."
The Victory Medal was authorised in 1919 to commemorate the victory of the Allied Forces over the Central Powers. Each of the Allied nations issued a 'Victory Medal' to their own nationals with all of these having the figure of Victory on the obverse as a common feature. Australians were awarded the medal issued by Great Britain. The Victory Medal was awarded to prescribed classes of persons who entered a theatre of war on duty between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.
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.
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'.
Text; '1721 R.E.S. SMITH COOK. MATE. R.A.N.'.
Donation & Subsequent Transfer from Mrs M. Smith
Reginald Edward Strickland Smith - Royal Australian Navy, Australia
1721 R.E.S. Smith, Cook's Mate, R.A.N.
Obverse; 'GEORGIVS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND: IMP:'. 'B.M.' (Bertram MacKennal - artist). Reverse; '1914 1918'. Edge; '1721 R.E.S. SMITH COOK. MATE. R.A.N.'.
Type of item
36 mm (Outside Diameter)
British Medal only.
Round with mount and ribbon
References: Australian Department of Defence website - Victory Medal: [Link 1]