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1914 Star: CM.1345-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Artists: Blakemore, W.H.J.
Mint: London
Ruler: George V (1910-36)
State: United Kingdom
Ruler: Gv (With the title of)




The 1914 Star was instituted in 1917 to commemorate service on the Western Front during the Great War of 1914-1918 between the declaration of war on 5 August and the end of the First Battle of Ypres on 22 November 1914. By this time the hideous casualties at Ypres and the Somme had considerably reduced the number of those who qualified for its award.
Despite its broader eligibility, the Star rapidly became identified with the first battle fought by the British during the War, that of Mons. In this battle it fell to the British Expeditionary Force to hold a position at Mons for 24 hours to cover the withdrawal of the French Fifth Army, beaten in the Battle of Charleroi. The German forces, superior in numbers, were confident of rolling over the four under-prepared divisions of the BEF, but in the event, though they were forced to withdraw, the British put up a defence that became a legend, in which many acts of heroism were performed.
This medal was awarded to Private A. Campbell of the 1st Battalion, 5th Royal Highlanders, otherwise known as the Black Watch. This unit were involved in covering the retreat of the forces engaged at Mons, and Private Campbell may very well therefore have reckoned his medal a Mons Star rather than a 1914 one. Note however that it does not bear the bar that would indicate service under fire during the period of eligibility. 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: 44.5 mm
Weight: 25.93 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

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


Production date: AD 1917

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Crossed swords with inscriptions on scrolls, under wreath with royal monogram at bottom and over four-pointed star of which topmost point replaced by crown.

  • Text: AUG / 1914 / NOV
  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Plain star with recipient's name stamped

  • Text: 549 / Pte. A. CAMPBELL. / 1/5 R. Highrs.
  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1345-2009
Primary reference Number: 141439
Watson Catalogue: 251
Ordering: M-0228
Previous object number: LW.0228
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) "1914 Star" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-26 09:26:30

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{{cite web|url= |title=1914 Star |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-26 09:26:30|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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