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The Territorial Force War Medal was a campaign medal awarded to members of the British Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Service who served overseas in World War I. It is the rarest of the five British Great War medals.[1]

Territorial Force War Medal
WW1 Territorial War Medal.jpg
Awarded by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India
CountryFlag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
TypeCampaign medal
EligibilityBritish forces
Awarded forCampaign service
Campaign(s)First World War
DescriptionBronze disk, 36mm diameter.
EstablishedApril 1920
Total awarded33,944
Next (higher)Victory Medal (United Kingdom)
Victory Medal (South Africa)
Ribbon - Territorial Force War Medal.png
Ribbon bar


Award CriteriaEdit

The medal was established in April 1920 for award to members of the Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Service who volunteered for service overseas on or before 30 September 1914, and served overseas. They had to:[2]

  • have been serving with the Force on 4 August 1914; or
  • have completed four years service with the Force before 4 August 1914 and rejoined on or before 30 September 1914.

In addition provided they:

  • undertook, either verbally or by written agreement on or before 30 September 1914 to serve outside the United Kingdom, such agreement being operative after 4 August 1914, and
  • have served outside the United Kingdom between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 (both dates inclusive; the last date was in 1918 though the years on the reverse said 1914-19) and
  • did not qualify for the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star.

A total of 33,944 Territorial Force War Medals were awarded.[3] This includes 227 to nurses[1] of the Territorial Force Nursing Service, the only women to receive the medal. The numbers given to each regiment varied widely.[4] For example, 63 were awarded to Seaforth Highlanders, where all three Territorial Force battalions were in France by 1915,[5] compared with 824 to the East Surrey Regiment, where both Territorial battalions undertook garrison duty in India until 1917,[6] and therefore did not qualify for the 1914 or 1914-15 Star.


  • The medal is a circular, bronze and of 36mm (1.42 in) diameter, with a straight bar suspender, with the following design:[3]
  • Obverse: a King George V bareheaded effigy, facing left, with the legend: 'GEORGIVS V BRITT : OMN : REX ET IND : IMP :' ;
  • Reverse: a wreath with in centre 'FOR / VOLUNTARY / SERVICE / OVERSEAS / 1914-19', and around the upper outer edge 'TERRITORIAL WAR MEDAL';
  • Ribbon: yellow with two green stripes, 32 mm (1.25 in) wide;
  • Naming: The number, rank name and unit of the recipient were impressed on the rim in block capitals.

Order of wearEdit

The order of wear of medals awarded for service during the First World War is as follows:[7]

See alsoEdit


  • Captain H. Taprell Dorling. Ribbons and Medals, (1956), A.H.Baldwin & Sons, London.
  • Joslin, Litherland, and Simpkin (eds), British Battles and Medals, (1988), Spink, London. ISBN 0907605257.
  • Mussel, J (ed) Medals Yearbook 2015, Token Publishing, Honiton, Devon. ISBN 9781908828163.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b John Mussell (ed). Medal Yearbook 2015. p. 180. Token Publishing Ltd. Honiton, Devon.
  2. ^ Captain H. Taprell Dorling. Ribbons and Medals. p. 92. Published A.H.Baldwin & Sons, London. 1956.
  3. ^ a b Joslin, Litherland and Simpkin. British Battles and Medals. p. 232. Published Spink, London. 1988.
  4. ^ "The National Archives, Discovery". Territorial Force War Medal medal roles. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  5. ^ John Sym. Seaforth Highlanders. pp. 138, 151. Published Gale & Polden, Aldershot. 1962.
  6. ^ Michael Langley. The East Surrey Regiment. p. 77. Published Leo Cooper, London. 1972.
  7. ^ "No. 38663". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 July 1949. p. 3404.