WWII medals

Discussion in 'REME' started by Goku, Oct 20, 2005.

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  1. My neighbour is a WWII veteran, 82 years young REME commando.
    He was showing me his medals the other day, the problem is he cant remember in what order they should be worn and three of them he’s not sure what they’re for.
    So I’ve been tasked with finding out how he’s to wear them and what the unidentifiables are, as I know bugger all, I was hoping one of you would be able to help.

    1. is the “Italy Star”, additional text on the medal says “GRJ VI”, ribbon colours are red, white, and green.

    2. is the “Africa Star”, additional text on the medal says “GRJ VI”, ribbon colours are gold, light blue, red, and dark blue

    3. is the “1939-1945 Star”, additional text on the medal says “GRJ VI”, ribbon colours are red, dark blue, and white

    4. is a large silver gong, king George on one side and a lion killing a horse on the other side, text is in Latin, ribbon colours are light blue, red, dark blue, I have no idea what this gong is for

    5. is a small pin on badge, about the size of my thumb, red background, text says “for the forces”, I have no idea what this is for

    6. is a small pin on badge, about the size of my thumb, badge is a silver wreath with 4 blue shields that spell out REME, I have no idea what this is for

    apologies for the poor pictures, it’s a cr*p camera

    Attached Files:

  2. Hey Goku, this is quite the coincidence. I was at my Grandad's today (he's 91) and he was showing me his medals from WW2 (he has four). Unfortuanatley I cant remember what they all were, but he definetly had the first one in your pics which was just a standard medal giving for having served during WW2 and should have the dates 1939-1945 on it, sorry I cant be more help.

    Edited to add-He also has the medal on the far left of the last pic, possibly for serving in France and Germany during WW2...I was shown what order his went in but I can't remember sorry mate.
  3. I concure with puttees:

    I see from L - R:

    #1 The Italy Star (11 Jun 43 - 8 May 45).
    #2 The Africa Star (10 Jun 40 - 12 May 42).
    #3 The 1939-1945 Star. (It has the ribband of the The War Medal attached to it.)
    #4 The War Medal (3 Sep 39 - 2 Sep 45). (Again it has the wrong ribband in this case that of the 39-45 Star.)

    So as you can see the the ribbands of # 3 & 4 need to be swopped over.

    The correct order of wear for this group I believe should be:

    The 1939-1945 Star
    The Africa Star
    The Italy Star
    The War Medal

    In the case of The Africa Star there should also be one of three bars on the ribband:

    8th ARMY: For service with 8th Army between 23 Oct 24 and 12 May 43.
    1st ARMY: For service with 1st Army (or any unit under the command of that Army) between 31 Dec 41 - 12 May 43
    NORTH AFRICA 1942-43: For Naval, RAF or Merchant Navy personnel operating in specified areas from 23 Oct 42 - 12 May 43.

    With regards to the reverse of the War Medal it is a lion standing over the vanquished dragon.

    Finally, as you can see I have been being a bit of a pedant by using the correct word of ribband and not ribbon.


    Gould, R.W. (1984): British Campagin Medals: Waterloo to the Falklands, Arms and Armour Press, London.
    Rosignoli, G. (1976): Ribbons of Orders, Decorations and Medals, Blandford Press Lts, Norfolk.

    or for a good colour guide to the ribbands:


    Hope all this helps
  4. I was trying to work your problem out by the differing sizes of medal..unfortunately I don't know how big "your thumb" is...that's left me at a standstill, sorry mate
  5. Thanks for the info on the old boys gongs.

    Next question.

    Does anyone know where I can get them mounted? I live in Surrey and London is easy for me to travel to, so preferably a shop in that area.
    He’s also lost the 1st ARMY bar for the Africa Star, so if anyone knows where a replacement can be purchased, that would be appreciated.

    I’d like to be able to sort this out for him before remembrance Sunday, so again, any help you can give will be appreciated.
  6. Try Bigbury Mint at:


    They will be able to do everything you need, as should any good military tailor.
  7. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    EC Snaith in Denbigh.

    Speak to Graham.
  8. Try AWARD PRODUCTIONS Tel: 01952 510053 www.awardmedals.com These guys are the RBL approved medallists.

    Ref your little badges, I think you'll find they are WWI sweetheart and service pins.

    Inf/MP is spot on about the medals by the way. What regiment was your neighbour in? Presumably he was at El Alemaine then involved in the Sicily/Italy landings and stayed there for the rest of the war - hence no Burma Star or France & Germany Star.
  9. Just to add a detail, the REME pin can't be from WW1, Corps formed in WW2.
  10. Thanks Hackle - You are of course absolutely right and I just scanned over the pics without making that observation. Therefore maybe a REME sweetheart pin?

    I think the Red badge with the interlaced WWW is a War Weapons Week fund raising badge. I know that various streets, factories, etc would have a clear out of rags, scrap and the like to help raise funds for armaments.
  11. You’re correct. He was involved with El Alemaine, then went on to the Italy landings, from there he fought in Africa, and finished the war occupying either Berlin or Austria (I don’t remember which).
    He was with the 1st Army, and I think he said either the 1st Battalion or 1st Company of the 1st Army – I’d have to go back and confirm that.
  12. Hello!
    I'm from Hungary, and looking for a partner to change military medals! I have lot of hungarian medals from WWI to present days.
    If anyone can help me, please write!
    Thank you!