We were going through my Dads attic and found these medals. We think they belonged to my Granddad - we don’t know if he fought in the World Wars but had Welsh heritage and lived in the UK most of his life (his age would align with WW2). They could be my Granddads or his fathers - we are unsure if they are from a specific war so any help is appreciated.





I struggled to take a high definition picture of the sides of the medals - and the star has bad corrosion. But the information on all three is:


I have attached some pictures below but they are not as good as I would have liked.



2 Answers 2


These are World War One medals. This specific set is typical and is called affectionately Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, after the then popular cartoon.

The first from the left is the

1914–15 Star

enter image description here (click to enlarge)

In the middle we see

British War Medal

enter image description here

And to the right

Victory Medal (United Kingdom) 1914–1919

enter image description here enter image description here

All three have the recipients name, rank and service number impressed on them. The later two (Squeak and Wilfred) on the rim, the first one, Star (Pip) on its backside. Here, it seems that it corroded some(*), but it appears the number is still legible as is. If that stain can be removed, the info of ownership should be very easy to confirm. The number seems still perfectly discernible, albeit too low a resolution in the picture provided above (is it [XX]9802?).

With that info you then might get much more info on for example British Army medal index cards 1914–1920. (this paragraph: thanks to @njuffa in comments).

Further information on abbreviations used on British Empire World War I medals.

From comments by QOP we see that the Star backside is said to read "J.6602".

In that case one might be lead to entries like this:

Medal card of Smith, Henry J
Corps: Norfolk Regiment Regiment No: 6602 ...
Reference: WO 372/18/148746
Medal card of Smith, Henry J Corps Regiment No Rank Norfolk Regiment 6602 Lance Corporal Date: 1914-1920 Held by: The National Archives, Kew Legal status: Public Record(s) Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

(*) If this is indeed corrosion of the Bronze Disease type and you want to keep the artefact, then (at least) storage under tight humidity control seems advised.

  • 1
    FWIW, I read the inscription on the back of the 1914-1915 Star as JL56GR. The UK National Archives preserve information about many WW1 medals: British Army medal index cards 1914-1920.
    – njuffa
    Jul 27, 2022 at 23:35
  • @njuffa thx for the link! The Star numbers however: my magnifier, my img-processorr all failed me, it seems. With JL I'd say 'a stretch, but possible', but the rest? 'Your' 'JL' (or whatever that is) is odd in any case, as they look quite a bit 'below the line'. GR at the end Seems also like a strange string format altogether? We need more sharpness & resolution, granted. Most puzzling to me is the last 'dent' (after 2 or R?) as that looks deliberate/deep compared to one simply from wear&tear. Jul 27, 2022 at 23:56
  • 2
    That's not a smudge; that's corrosion.
    – Spencer
    Jul 28, 2022 at 0:12
  • 1
    @sam_smith Thx for the additional info. Please add that to the question text, since that's where such info belongs, as comments are volatile and subject to deletion. If you can make even better pictures (they are currently above standard for this site already), so that the inscription can be seen/read with less ambiguity by more readers, that'd be also great. (If you strive for perfection in formal question quality: add a full visual description in your own words as well ;) Jul 28, 2022 at 9:07
  • 1
    I have done my best to upload pictures of the sides of the medal. I have also uploaded the information and name on them to see if I can get closer to who they belonged to to continue sleuthing.
    – sam_smith
    Jul 29, 2022 at 20:57

Bit late but a followup on identification:

The medals were awarded to J.6602 E.F CHAPMAN A.B R.N. This will indicate an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy - it turns out his personal records survive at the National Archives (register of service ADM 188/660/6602, record card ADM 363/294/114) and copies of both can be downloaded for free.

The register of service seems to indicate he enlisted in 1910 as a boy seaman (on his 16th birthday). It will be possible to reconstruct his service by working through the ship names and dates, though note that many of them are shore postings - eg at the outbreak of WWI he was posted to HMS Vernon, the name for the torpedo school at Portsmouth - and interestingly several are submarine depot ships.

He remained in service after the war - the register runs up to 1928 and then the record card takes over. He was promoted to Leading Seaman in 1918, Petty Officer in 1925, and pensioned after 24 years service in 1934. He was then recalled in 1939 and discharged in 1945; he seems to have spent WWII entirely at HMS Eaglet, a shore base in Liverpool. This suggests there might be a WWII service medal knocking around as well, but perhaps these were set aside long before it was issued.

Remarkably, his father's Army service records may also survive - Ancestry. Enlisted 1879, born Toronto (!), and the third page records a son Ernest Frank Chapman born 27/1/1894 in Dublin, exactly matching the naval records.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.