The War Medal 1939–1945 was a British decoration awarded to those who had served in the Armed Forces or Merchant Navy full-time for at least 28 days between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. In the Merchant Navy, the 28 days must have been served at sea. It is sometimes described as the "Victory Medal" for World War II, although that is not its correct name.
A circular silver (.800 fine) medal, 36mm in diameter. The British issue medals were made of cupro-nickel.
The obverse shows the crowned coinage effigy of King George VI, facing left, and the legend GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX ET INDIAE:IMP.
The reverse shows a lion standing on the body of a double-headed dragon. The dragons heads are those of an eagle and a dragon to signify the principal occidental and oriental enemies. At the top, just right of centre are the dates 1939/1945 in two lines.The ribbon is 1.25 inches wide and consists of 7 coloured stripes: red, dark blue, white, narrow red (centre), white, dark blue, and red, representing the colours of the Union Flag
The medals were issued unnamed; except those awarded to personnel of the Canadian Merchant Marine, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Royal Indian Army, South African and Australian forces, which were named on the rim.
The medal was designed by Edward Carter Preston.
ClaspsA single bronze oak leaf emblem is worn to signify a Mention in Despatches and a silver oak leaf is worn to signify an award of a King's Commendation for Brave Conduct. There is no bar other than these emblems.