WWI British War Medal

Instituted to record the successful conclusion of the First World War, the British War Medal can still often be seen worn by families at ANZAC Day parades. However once the medal is mounted many of us are denied the opportunity to see the wonderful designs on the reverse.

The reverse shows St George on horseback, trampling underfoot a shield with the eagle motif – a representation of the Central Powers – and a skull and cross bones; the symbol of death. Above the figure, the sun has risen in victory. The male figure represents the male population who had borne the brunt of the fighting. By showing him on horseback the artist is symbolically showing man controlling a force (in this case represented by the horse) greater than his own thus alluding to the scientific and mechanical appliances which helped win the war.