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British campaign medals are awarded to members of the British Armed Forces, Allied forces and civilians participating in specified military campaigns. Examples include the Defence Medal, for homeland defence in World War II, and the Atlantic Star for World War II sea service in the Atlantic.
During World War I (1914–1918) the following campaign medals were issued:
The most frequent combinations are "trios" and "pairs". Trios are made up of one or other of the 1914 or 1914-15 Stars (they could not be awarded together), the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred". Pairs are generally for servicemen who joined the war after 1915, and are the British War Medal with the Victory Medal, colloquially known as the "Mutt and Jeff" pair. Occasionally one medal was issued, the British War Medal.
Merchant seaman were entitled to the Mercantile Marine Medal (issued by the Board of Trade) and usually the British War Medal as well. The Territorial Force War Medal was awarded to members of the Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Services who served overseas; it is the rarest of the five Great War medals. The Memorial Plaque was issued to the next-of-kin of deceased service personnel.
During World War II (1939–1945) the following were issued (with authorised Clasp or Emblem (if awarded) in brackets) - the first ten are listed in the authorised Order of Wearing: