This database contains the Medal Rolls Index, or Medal Index Cards. The collection currently contains approximately 4.8 million people, which is nearly all of the total collection. There will be one more update to this collection in the very near future that will complete this database.
The records in each release cover a wide range of surnames from all alphabetical ranges. The records can be searched by first and last name and Corps, Unit or Regiment. These cards were created by the Army Medal Office (AMO) of the United Kingdom in Droitwich near the close of World War I (WWI).
The Medal Index Cards collection is the most complete listing of individuals who fought in the British Army in WWI, containing approximately 90 per cent of soldiers’ names. The Index Cards were created in order to keep details about a soldier’s medal entitlement in one place.
Who were awarded medals?
Certain requirements needed to be met in order to qualify for certain medals (see descriptions below). However, nearly all soldiers who served abroad were awarded at least one medal.
About the Index Cards:
There’s both a front and back to each card. Cards are arranged alphabetically by soldiers’ surnames. There are a few different card forms that were used, so the amount of information recorded will vary. However, the type of information that may be found on the cards includes:
- Name of soldier
- Regiment number(s)
- Name of medal(s) received
- Roll and page numbers (references to the original AMO medal rolls)
- Theatre of war served in and date of entry
- Date of enlistment
- Date and reason of discharge
- Correspondence notes
About the Medals
The Medal Rolls Index Cards will tell you which of the campaign medals below your ancestor may have been awarded. In general, everyone who served overseas received some form of medal.
- 1914 Star (Mons Star) was awarded for service in France or Flanders (Belgium) between 5 August and 22 November 1914.
- 1914-15 Star was awarded for service in France or Flanders (Belgium) between 23 November 1914 and 31 December 1915, or for service in any theatre between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915.
- Allied Victory Medal (Victory Medal) was awarded for service in any operational theatre between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. It was issued to individuals who received the 1914 and 1914-15 Stars and to most individuals who were issued the British War Medal. The medal was also awarded for service in Russia (1919-1920) and post-war mine clearance in the North Sea (1918-1919).
- British War Medal was awarded to both servicemen and civilians that either served in a theatre of war, or rendered service overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. It was also awarded for service in Russia, and post-war mine clearance in the Baltic, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea between 1919 and 1920.
- Silver War Badge (SWB) was awarded to servicemen who became ill or were wounded while serving in a theatre of war or at home.
- Territorial Force War Medal was awarded to servicemen who were members of the Territorial Force either on or before 30 September 1914 and who served in an operational theatre abroad between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.
Also included in this database are some women’s service awards and Mentioned in Despatches (MID) notes. Mentioned in Despatches was an award for commendable service or bravery in the field. Despatches were official reports that detailed military operations and were returned to HQ. These reports were published in the London Gazette. Servicemen who had performed noteworthy actions were often mentioned in these reports; therefore they are described as Mentioned in Despatches.
What’s not included
The women’s records currently held at the Imperial War Museum, as well as the Military Medal collection and Indian Army cards, are not presently included in this database.