1914 Star (Mons Star)

Era: WWI

The 1914 Star, also known as the Mons Star, was a campaign medal of the British Empire, for service in World War One.

This Bronze Star was authorised in April, 1917, to be awarded to those who served in France or Belgium on the strength of a unit, or service in either of those countries between 5th August and midnight on 22nd/23rd November 1914.  The former date is the day after Britain's declaration of war against the Central Powers, and the closing date marks the end of the First Battle of Ypres.

Recipients were officers and men of the pre-war British Army, specifically the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F or the Old Contemptibles), who landed in France soon after the outbreak of the War and who took part in the Retreat from Mons (hence the nickname 'Mons Star'). 365,622 were awarded in total.  Recipients of this medal also received the British War Medal and Victory Medal. These three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.

In October, 1919, the King graciously pleased to approved and sanctioned the award of the bar to this star to all those who had been ‘under fire’ in France or Belgium during, or between the above dates. 

It should be noted that there are two categories of recipients (1) those who served the requisite period under fire, and (2) those who served the same period not under fire.

The Bar is of bronze and bears on it “5th Aug – 22nd Nov. 1914” There are small holes on each corner enabling it to be sewn on to the ribbon.  Those entitled to the bar wear a small silver rose in the centre of the ribbon when the medal is not worn.

A very similar medal, the 1914-15 Star, was also issued, but no person could receive both awards.


Materials:   The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issued in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants.  The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.

Ribbons:    Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed.  Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.

Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.

Ribbon – 32mm wide. Reading from the left to right as seen on the wearer, the colours are red, white and blue shaded and watered. The Same as the 1914-15 Star.

1914 Star (Mons Star) ribbon
1914 Star (Mons Star) ribbon
1914 Star (Mons Star) with rosette
1914 Star (Mons Star) with rosette

Type – Campaign medal.

Established – April 1917

Eligibility – British and Imperial forces

Awarded for – Campaign Service.

Campaign – First World War 1914 -18

Related – 1914-15 Star, British War Medal.

Total awarded – 378,000

Ribbon – 32mm wide. Reading from the left to right as seen on the wearer, the colours are red, white and blue shaded and watered. The same as the 1914-15 Star.

Designer – Unknown

Suspension – The ribbon is threaded through a half-inch diameter ring, which passes through a loop fixed to the top of the piece.  The ring will move forwards and backwards but not sideways.

Naming – The recipient’s number, rank, name and regiment are stamped in block capitals on the reverse in three lines.

Clasps – 5th Aug 22nd Nov. 1914

Description – Bronze four-pointed star

The medal is a four pointed star of bright bronze, unsigned with a crown, with a height of 50mm, and a maximum width of 45mm. Obverse has two crossed glade (swords) with blades upwards and a wreath of oak leaves, with the Royal Cypher of King George V at foot and central ‘S’-shaped scroll inscribed AUG 1914 NOV”.  The reverse is plain with the recipient’s number, rank and name.


Clasps are commonly, though not strictly correctly, also referred to as ‘bars’.  They are single-faced metal bars carried on a ribbon attached to the medal, indicating service in a particular campaign or battle.  The clasps carry side flanges to enable them to be attached to the medal and riveted to each other, so that new ones can be attached as earned.  Usually the first earned Clasp is borne nearest to the medal, so that the latest earned should be at the top, though they can be found in the wrong order. 

5th Aug. – 22nd Nov. 1914   Often referred to as Clasp and Roses. Instituted in 1919 (Army Order Number 361 published 16 October 1919) and awarded to those who had operated within range of enemy mobile artillery during the above period. When the ribbon bar was worn alone, recipients of the clasp to the medal wore a small silver rosette on the ribbon bar.      


This guide will help you through all the parts and descriptions of military medals


Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’

Some of the material on this page was also partially derived from

<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 1914_Star >

Which are released under the terms of


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