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Victory Medal

Victory Medal
What was it used for? WWI Campaign Medal
Where is it from? Shere
When was it made? 1919
How was it made? Struck (stamped with a die)
What was it made from? Bronze
Size: Diameter 36mm
Museum number: LG.2531

The Victory medal was awarded to British service personnel who served abroad in World War I. This one was given to Francis Bray, a Lieutenant Colonel in The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment). He was a barrister and his father was Lord of the Manor of Shere.

The front of the medal shows the figure of Victory. Her left arm is extended and the right arm holds a palm branch. The medal is bronze coated with lacquer giving a bright appearance. The soldier's name, rank and service number is stamped on the edge of the medal.

Bray joined the territorial army before the war. In 1915 he was posted to Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) with the 1/5th Battalion of the Queen's Regiment. The oak leaf on the medal ribbon shows that he was mentioned in despatches. This means that Bray fought with distinction and was named in reports sent to army headquarters.

He was also awarded a medal for gallantry, the Military Cross, whilst fighting in Mesopotamia. This recognised acts of bravery during operations against the enemy. It is still awarded now for the same reasons. The notice in the London Gazette states that the award was 'for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty'. He 'showed great coolness and ability in leading his company under heavy fire'. Bray was also awarded an Italian medal, the 'Al Valore Militare'.

Bray retired from the army in 1926 but returned to command the Shere Home Guard during World War II. He died in 1950.