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British War Medal 1914-20 awarded to Lieutenant Frank Alexander de Pass, 34th Prince Albert Victor's Own Poona Horse

Silver campaign medal with a portrait of King George V facing left with the inscription, 'Georgivs V Britt: Omn: Rex Et Ind Imp:', on the obverse and an equestrian figure of St George, trampling a shield bearing the Prussian eagle, on the reverse. Additional designs on the reverse include the years, '1914' and '1918', a skull and crossed bones representing death and a rising sun, representing victory. Orange corded silk ribbon edged with blue and white vertical stripes.

Frank de Pass (1887-1914) was commissioned into the Royal Horse Artillery in 1906 and transferred to the Poona Horse in 1909. In 1913 he was appointed Orderly Officer to Lieutenant-General Sir Percy Lake, Chief of the General Staff in India.

On the outbreak of war in 1914 he embarked with his regiment for France, where he became the first Jewish recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC) and also the first Indian Army officer to win the award in World War One (1914-1918).

Lieutenant de Pass was awarded the VC on 18 February 1915, for an action near Festubert, on t24 November 1914, where he cleared an enemy trench and rescued, under heavy fire, a wounded man. He was killed on 25 November 1914 in a second attempt to capture the trench which had been re-occupied by German troops.

The British War Medal was awarded to all members of the British and Imperial military forces who completed 28 days mobilised service during 1914-1918. Although World War One ended in 1918, the qualification period for this medal was extended to cover post-war ordnance clearance and service in Russia during 1919-1920. Over six million of these medals were issued to British and Empire soldiers.

From a medal group including the Victoria Cross, 1914 Star and Allied Victory Medal 1914-19.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1995-04-2-3


National Army Museum Copyright


National Army Museum, Formation gallery

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