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British Battles

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Military ancestors

Medals

Participants in wars and armed conflicts were often entitled to a medal. These could be either for gallantry or for participation in a particular campaign. The National Archives holds details for medals issued up to and including the First World War but very few records later than that date have been released, with the exception of some Second World War army gallantry medals.

The Ministry of Defence may in appropriate circumstances issue or reissue medals awarded after 1920. Medals awarded earlier than that date will not be reissued. Contact addresses are given in the relevant guides referred to below.

Gallantry medals

  • Read the guide for details of records available for individuals in the armed services who received a gallantry medal

If you are unsure as to which medals were relevant to a particular service, read the guide about medal eligibility.

Campaign medals

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  • Read the guide for details of records available for individuals in the armed services who received a campaign medal

To trace details of campaign medals issued to soldiers before the First World War it is usually necessary to know the man's regiment. For the First World War there is an alphabetical index irrespective of regiment.

  • Read the guide for details of records available for individuals in the merchant navy who received a medal

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