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Military Medal 1916 with bar: CM.1344-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Mint: London
Ruler: George V (1910-36)
State: United Kingdom
Ruler: Georgivs V Britt: omn: rex et Ind: imp: (With the title of)




The Military Medal was instituted in 1916 to reward acts of bravery by NCOs and men in the Army (and at that point the Royal Flying Corps) that were felt worthy of recognition but not of the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Even though instituted halfway through the Great War of 1914-18, the medal was awarded 115,600 times in the remainder of the conflict, and 5796 of these recipients won one or more bars to recognise a second award. The medal was awarded until 1993, when the Military Cross was extended to those of less than officer rank.
This medal was awarded to Private W. Spouge of the 3rd Grenadier Guards, and this award was published in the London Gazette for 11 November 1916. The Grenadier Guards hold battle honours for two battles on the Somme at about that time, and it was likely in one of these that Private Spouge earnt his medal. The former was the Battle of Flers-Courcelette in early September, which was the first battle in which tanks were used, but which nevertheless failed to make significant gains. The latter was the following Battle of Morval, in which the British experienced more success but the French were halted on their flank meaning that progress was only limited. These two battles were both fought in the appalling conditions which have made the Somme infamous, pouring rain, waterlogged trenches, battlegrounds of churned mud and barbed wire, open to sweeping fire and artillery, and as a result viciously high casualties, and there can be no doubt that Private Spouge earnt his medal.
The bar that it bears shows that he later qualified for the award again, moreover, and this in turn was noticed in the London Gazette for 13 March 1918. Although the unit had fought at Cambrai and Ypres in the winter of 1917, by March 1918 they were back at the Somme and it was presumably on these old fighting grounds that Private Spouge again earnt the decoration. Lester Watson acquired the medal at some point before 1928.


History note: Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, acquired before 1928

Legal notes

Given by Lester Watson through Cambridge in America, 2009

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 36.4 mm
Weight: 38.76 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2009) by Watson, Lester


1916 - 1918

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of George facing left

  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Inscription in centre, crown above and laurel wreath around

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1344-2009
Primary reference Number: 141438
Watson Catalogue: 250
Ordering: M-0227
Previous object number: LW.0227
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 15 January 2024 Last processed: Monday 15 January 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Coins and Medals

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Military Medal 1916 with bar" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-19 13:12:28

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