Full title: 1914 Star
Also known as: 14 Star, Mons Star, Pip, Star etc.
Construction: Tombac (bronze & zinc), 44 millimetres in diameter 62 millimetres in height.
Ribbon: 32 mm red, white and blue pattern. The pattern is obviously inspired by the colours of the British Union Flag. The ribbon is suspended (joined to medal) by an integral ring.
Clasps: "5TH AUG.-22ND NOV. 1914" Awarded to those who served under fire or within range of enemy artillery between the 05.08.1914 and midnight 22/23.11.1914. The issue of this clasp was incredibly poor, the issue of should appear on the recipients medal card. However, in many cases it does not, the entitled soldier was not issued the clasp. Therefore with a medal card alone, do not presume the soldier was not eligible. A list of eligible units can be found in Williamson, H. 2011. The Great War Medal Collectors Companion. Collectors Guide Publishing.
Naming: Impressed block capitals, 3 known official styles. British Army naming is in the following format; Service Number. Rank. Initial or initials. Surname. Battalion Number Regiment or Corps.
Issued: As a single medal the original issue fell between 1919 and 1920, as a set from 1920, 1923 onward should be considered late issue.
Awarded to: All ranks of men and women serving in (or under contract with) the British & Imperial (ie: Indian, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand etc) Forces, including those employed in hospitals etc, who served in France & Belgium between 05.08.1914 and 22.11.1914. The award was issued to personnel of a variety of civilian organizations including the RAC. Around 378,000 1914 Stars were issued. The majority of recipients were professional soldiers from Britain's pre-war army, there were also a limited number of awards to Royal Flying Corps and Royal Navy men. Those awarded the 1914 were automatically awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. Please note, this is the briefest of explanations, for further information readers are advised to consult - Williamson, H. 2011. The Great War Medal Collectors Companion. Collectors Guide Publishing.
Obverse: A 4 pointed star, with top point obscured/mounted by crown, integral suspension ring at top of crown. Crossed swords overlay the star, giving the effect of an 8 pointed star. At the centre of the star (where the swords cross) a scroll reads "1914". In the apex of (above and below) the crossing swords there are 2 scrolls that read "AUG" and "NOV". The centre is surrounded by a laurel wreath circle, at the bottom of which is the royal cypher (G with V within). The whole is in relief.
Reverse: Flat and without detail, this area is used for naming.
Comments: Look out for 1914 Stars issued to 1914 army casualties, these being scarce. An original clasp adds significant value to the star. As with all First World War medals, those issued to corps (Royal Field Artillery/Army Service Corps etc) offer best value for money.