Victory Medal Receipt

The distribution of medals following the Great War was a long process and took well into the 1920s before the many millions of men entitled to medals had received all their awards. In a pre-computer age, the distribution relied on an equally vast number of record cards for each and every servicemen (incidentally these cards are now an essential tool to family history researchers as they survived the Blitz when many service records did not). To reconcile all these records, clerks sent out and received dozens of card slips to track who had and who had not received their medals. When a man received his medals, they were accompanied by a pre-paid return card to let the authorities know medals had been safely delivered. Clearly not all soldiers returned these cards as today we are looking at an example of one of those return cards that was clearly never posted back:

This card accompanied the award of just the Victory Medal and was sent out in September 1921 from the Nottingham records branch. It is clearly marked where the man was expected to sign to confirm his receipt of the medal. Once this card was signed, he was meant to return it, adding the address to the reverse. Again, however, as this card was never returned, the other side of the card remains blank:

For those collecting today, the medals and the story of the soldier who received them are often of most interest, however the logistics behind the distribution of these awards is a fascinating story in and of itself.

One comment

  1. Nothing changes, I’ve been waiting five years for a medal that was supposed to have been awarded fifteen years before that, now I’m getting it with a bar for an extra ten years service but it’s still being ‘processed’, they’re blaming it all on ‘covid’ delaying the awards ceremonies but that doesn’t explain the years gone by before someone dreamed the fakeflu up…I told them to just put it in the mail two years ago…it’s a trivial thing but I earned it and I sort of want it to sit on my casket eventually, provided it gets here by then. A hundred years on and bureaucracy still plods ahead at it’s usual pace.

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