Encyclopedia - Pip, Squeak and Wilfred

1933 Pip, Squeak and Wilfred annual The origin of the term Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, obscure at best, relates to four British campaign medals instituted as a consequence of the First World War.

Pip, Squeak and Wilfred actually comprised three comic strip characters popular in the immediate post-war era (a dog, a penguin and a rabbit, respectively).  Published in the tabloid Daily Mirror the characters were supposedly named by the cartoon's illustrator Austin B. Payne after his wartime batman who went by the nickname 'Pip-Squeak'.

A series of British First World War campaign medals was introduced at about the same time that the comic strip gained widespread acclaim; these were subsequently given a nickname to represent each cartoon character: bizarrely the names stuck.

'Pip' was in fact used to describe two separate campaign medals, the 1914 Star and the 1914-15 Star (the former more commonly if incorrectly referred to as the 'Mons Star').  Holders of the 1914 Star were not eligible for the 1914-15 Star, thus only one could be held at once.

'Squeak' was the named used to describe the British War Medal; and the Inter-Allied Victory Medal was referred to as 'Wilfred' (the medal was also simply referred to as the Victory Medal or the Allied War Medal).

A respirator was a gas mask in which air was inhaled through a metal box of chemicals.

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