The following guide explains the reasoning behind medals, what World War I medals look like and how to buy them safely and securely using eBay.
Why Were Medals Awarded in World War I?
- The government handed out medals to those that took part in World War I in order to reward them.
- Medals have been handed out to participants in a number of conflicts since the 19th Century and World War I saw the most medals handed out of any conflict.
Types of World War I Medal
When buying World War I medals it’s important to first decide on which medal it is that is required. World War I saw four main types of medal handed out to soldiers with a different reason for each. Recipients of the medals were given them in groups, usually of three, with two of the medals always given out together.
The table below gives the name of the medal, which soldiers were eligible to receive it, with more details alongside:
Must have served in France or Belgium between 5 August 1914 and 22/23 November 1914.
Served in any ‘theatre of war’ between
5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915.
British War Medal
Completed service between
5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.
5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918
Apart from the main four medals, two other lesser-known medals were handed out.
The following table looks at those and explains how and why they were awarded.
Mercantile Marine War Medal
If a soldier received the British War Medal and could then prove they took a voyage by sea that passed through a danger zone they received one of these.
Territorial Force War Medal
Any member of the British Territorial Force and Force Nursing Services that served overseas.
Condition of World War I Medals
- Such is the age of war memorabilia, it’s important to check the condition of the item being bought before finalising a purchase.
- Buyers must make sure of the exact condition of the medal and confirm its authenticity by asking for close up photos of it.
- It’s also critical to make sure any inscriptions or clasps are authentic and haven’t been added later.
How to Buy a World War I Medal from eBay
- eBay is awash with thousands of items of World War I memorabilia and it means there being a large number of extremely knowledgeable sellers available to help you through the buying process. Medals are the most popular type of World War I memorabilia that can be bought and the advice that is imparted on medals is the best.
- To locate World War I Medals on eBay go to the category titled Collectables. From there scroll down to the Militaria sub-category and from the options following it click More. That brings up an expanded level of options and World War I (1914-1918) will be one of them.
- By clicking on that, it will take the buyer onto a list of items. Focus on the options on the left hand side and under Type click on the box next to Medals & Ribbons and it will bring up all the World War I medals on eBay.
- Searching for World War I medals on eBay can be made easier using the search option that exists. To look by using this simply type in the search terms into the box at the top of any eBay page.
- If at any time buyers are unsure about the item in front them, the Ask the Seller is there to help clarify even the smallest of details. Further help is available by clicking on the Buying Tips section of eBay.
- When the buyer is ready to complete a transaction either Bid, click the Buy it Now button or place your Best Offer.
Safety Considerations When Buying
- World War I Memorabilia being purchased on eBay should be subject to a lot more scrutiny than many other items due to its nature and the history attached to it.
- The item description must be checked thoroughly and anything the buyer is unsure about must be clarified with the seller before making a bid.
- The seller’s transaction history will help the buyer to learn more about sellers as it gives them a timeline of the seller’s entire history on the site. It’s here that buyers can flag up any transactions in the past that have been troublesome and use the Ask the Seller feature to find out more.
World War I medals are the most popular pieces of memorabilia that can be bought to remember those that fought in the conflict. Before buying one using eBay, there are a few pertinent questions that need to be answered, which are:
- Which class of medal are you looking to buy?
- Have you carried out the necessary checks to ensure authenticity?
- Is the condition acceptable?
These questions should in no way limit you and the final decision is always down to you, the buyer.
Once the all-important decision has been made, remember to utilise PayPal to ensure the transaction goes through smoothly.