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Commemorative Medallion 1914-1918, issued to the next of kin of Private Thomas Stupple, Machine Gun Corps

Circular, bronze memorial plaque or medallion issued to the relatives of the 1.3 million Commonwealth service personnel killed during World War One (1914-1918).

Commonly known as the 'Dead Man's Penny', the plaque was designed by Edward Carter Preston (1885-1965) who was commissioned after winning a War Office competition. The figure of Britannia holds a trident while a lion, a symbol of Britain's strength, stands beside her. She gestures with an olive branch towards the soldier's name, held in a rectangular panel. The medal is inscribed, 'She Died for Freedom and Honour'. Dolphins on either side of the panel represent Britain's naval power and below the standing lion, another lion is shown pouncing on an eagle, symbolising Britain's victory over Germany.

Private Stupple was killed in action on 11 April 1918 on the Western Front during the German Spring Offensive. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records his name on the Ploegsteert Memorial, in Hainault, Belgium. Units from the Machine Gun Corps were responsible for offensive and defensive fire support so were always a prime target for enemy fire. Wartime casualties were so heavy (62,000 out of 170,000 officers and men) that the corps was nicknamed the 'suicide club'.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 2001-07-54-1


National Army Museum Copyright


National Army Museum, Study Collection

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