Encyclopedia - Mercantile Marine War Medal

Mercantile Marine War Medal The Mercantile Marine War Medal, which was awarded by the British government (the Board of Trade), was given to prior recipients of the British War Medal who had served at sea during the First World War and had sailed through dangerous waters.

Also eligible for the medal were those men who had served at sea for at least six months from the outbreak of war in August 1914 until the armistice of November 1918.

Typically pilots and crews of post office ships and lighthouse authority vessels received the Mercantile Marine War Medal.  The medal was instituted in 1919, made of bronze and 36mm in diameter.  No additional Bars were available.

The effigy of King George V adorned the obverse of the medal; on the reverse was a merchant ship sailing through difficult waters, an enemy submarine lurking in the background.  The words For War Service / Mercantile Marine / 1914-1918 were printed across three lines.

A 'Tracer' was a phosphorescent machine-gun bullet which glowed in flight, indicating course as an aid to artillery.

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