Decorations and Medals
Medals are the physical tokens of a country's esteem. They were awarded for valour in combat, service under arduous circumstances or a long period of service. Canada, as a Dominion within the British Empire used the British honours system during the First World War.
Medals for service during the First World War were awarded to all Canadian soldiers. Stars were awarded for service in 1914 and 1915. Both the Allied Victory Medal and the British War Medal were awarded to most Canadian participants. These medals bear the soldier's Service Number, Rank, Name and Unit. The marks are on the reverse of the Stars and on the rim of the Victory and War Medals.
As Canadian Military Police were usually transfered from their original units to the Military Police Corps, the medals are marked with the original Unit of the recipient. In order to determine if a medal group was awarded to a Military Policeman, service records must be consulted. A few examples are illustrated below.
Frank Bland was born in 1884 and joined the 4th Infantry Battalion CEF on the 23rd of September 1914 at Valcartier Quebec. He was at the battle of Ypres 1915, and numerous other battles through 1918. He was wounded in combat and was awarded a wound stripe. He transfered to the Canadian Military Police in early 1918 and ended the war as an Acting Sergeant. He was discharged on the 18th of November 1919, with the permanent rank of Corporal, having served 5 years and 54 days.
Commissioned Officers and in some cases, Warrant Officers and Senior NCOs could privately purchase miniature medals to wear with Mess Dress or civilian evening dress. These medals were made by jewelers and were unnamed. Left to right: Military Cross for gallantry; 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal.