Medal Rules for the Royal Navy 1914-1918

Read about the medal rules for the First World War. For the Navy to qualify for the British War Medal you had to serve for a minimum of 28 days in uniform.  To qualify for the Victory Medal you had to have served in a designated theatre of war. 

 

The medal rules for the First World War are complicated to say the least.  For the Navy to qualify for the British War Medal you had to serve for a minimum of 28 days in uniform.  To qualify for the Victory Medal you had to have served in a designated theatre of war.  In Cozens’ case, as also for Len Griggs, they did not serve outside “home waters” and therefore was only entitled to the British War Medal.  Should he have joined the British Army he would not have received any medal at all, unless he had been personally involved in the treatment of wounded soldiers.

A particular anomaly in these cases is that the date of entry in the New Zealand record of service of those who joined the RNMBR in New Zealand was the date of their embarkation on the troopship, albeit crucially, they travelled in civilian clothes.  From the RN perspective the date of their service started from the day they joined either RNC Greenwich (officers) or HMS Hermione (motor mechanics).  If the Royal Navy had taken their date of entry from New Zealand, all would have been entitled to the Victory Medal.

In respect of naming, the standard Royal Navy naming for the First World War are impressed sans serif capitals, which ‘although the same’ is different from that generally seen on Army or Air Force medals, of which there are at least four types.