Ancestry has posted a database containing the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 (2.1 million records). These cards were created by the Army Medal Office (AMO) of the United Kingdom in Droitwich near the close of World War I (WWI). The Medal Index Cards collection is the most complete listing of individuals who fought in the British Army in WWI, containing approximately 90% of soldiersâ€™ names. The Index Cards were created in order to keep in one place details about a soldierâ€™s medal entitlement.
Certain requirements needed to be met in order to qualify for certain medals (see medal descriptions below). However, nearly all soldiers who served abroad were awarded at least one medal.
There is both a front and back side to each card. Cards are arranged alphabetically by soldiersâ€™ surnames. There are a few different card forms that were used, so the amount of information recorded will vary. However, the type of information that may be found on the cards includes:
- Name of soldier
- Regiment number(s)
- Name of medal(s) received
- Roll and page numbers (references to the original AMO medal rolls)
- Theater of war served in and date of entry
- Date of enlistment
- Date and reason of discharge
- Correspondence notes
Medals awarded during WWI included:
- 1914 Star (Mons Star) was awarded for service in France or Flanders (Belgium) between 5 August and 22 November 1914.
- 1914-15 Star was awarded for service in France or Flanders (Belgium) between 23 November 1914 and 31 December 1915, or for service in any theater between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915.
- Allied Subjects Medal was awarded to individuals (not necessarily British) for service to the Allied cause, for example, by helping British Prisoners of War escape.
- Allied Victory Medal (Victory Medal) was awarded for service in any operational theater between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. It was issued to individuals who received the 1914 and 1914-15 Stars and to most individuals who were issued the British War Medal. The medal was also awarded for service in Russia (1919-1920) and post-war mine clearance in the North Sea (1918-1919).
- British War Medal was awarded to both servicemen and civilians that either served in a theater of war, or rendered service overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. It was also awarded for service in Russia, and post-war mine clearance in the Baltic, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea between 1919 and 1920.
- Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) was awarded to non-commissioned officers for bravery.
- Distinguished Service Order (DSO) was generally awarded to officers ranked Major and higher for distinguished war service.
- Military Cross Medal (MC) was awarded to commissioned officers of Captain and below, as well Warrant Officers, for valour during active operations.
- Military Medal was awarded to non-commissioned officers for bravery in land battle.
- Silver War Badge (SWB) was awarded to servicemen who became ill or were wounded while serving in a theater of war or at home.
- Territorial Force War Medal was awarded to servicemen who were members of the Territorial Force either on or before 30 September 1914 and who served in an operational theater abroad between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.
- Victoria Cross Medal (VC) was awarded for valour in the face of the enemy.
- Also included in this database are some womenâ€™s service awards and Mentioned in Despatches (MID). â€œMentioned in Despatchesâ€ was an award for commendable service or bravery. Despatches were official reports that detailed military operations. These reports were published in the London Gazette. Servicemen who had performed noteworthy actions were often mentioned in these reports, therefore having been â€œMentioned in Despatches.”
Ancestry World Deluxe members and Ancestry.co.uk members can access this database by clicking here.