World War 1 Medal Index Cards
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After World War 2, individual participants had to claim any campaign medals to which they felt entitled - something that caused quite a lot of rancour at the time. Men and women who had fought so bravely for five years, still carried memories of how this was dealt with after the First World War when medals were automatically issued to former servicemen who had served overseas or to the next-of-kin of those who had died. This was made possible by the MIC system evolved at the time -Medal Index Cards.

These cards still exist and are being held by the National Archive. You can now go online and purchase cards which  list  each individual's medal entitlement. This is the web address:

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/medals.asp

As soon as he was sent overseas, soldiers, sailors or airman of the first World War qualified for one of these campaign medals:

1914 Star
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Most of the Stentiford men on the National Archive list returned home safe and sound. Roy Hewitt has produced a series of Memorials for this article to remind us of the ultimate price paid by those who were less fortunate.

 

1914 - 18 Medal Index card for Frank Stentiford

1914 - 18 Medal Index card for Frank Stentiford

Many of the cards are old and worn and what you purchase is a sheet containing scans of 6 cards some of which are not very legible.

 

The card above records the entitlement of Private 15494 Frank Stentiford,  of the Devonshire Regiment. He arrived in Western France on 25 May 1915 so he is entitled to the 1915 Star and then follows the number of the appropriate Medal Roll and the page number on which his name is recorded.

 

He was also entitled to the British War Medal and to the Victory Medal. The soldier's name and number are inscribed around the rim of these medals. Finally, we see on the right, the ominous initials "K I A" followed by a date and we know that Frank was killed in action 10 August 1917 and that he did not come home. 

To find out more about these medals, you can go to a most interesting article at:

www.1914-1918.net/grandad/grandad6.htm

 

 

 

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Last modiied: 30/05/2007