For soldiers below commissioned rank (that is, they were not officers) all campaign medals were automatically issued to the medal earner or, if deceased, to the next of kin. They did not have to submit a claim or pay for the medals. Officers or, if deceased, their next of kin did have to submit an application.
The medal records show that on occasion the medals were not deliverable or were returned for correction.
If you are looking to find a particular soldier’s medals your primary assumption must be that they were issued and, if they still physically exist, are either somewhere in the soldier’s family, in the collection of a medal enthusiast, or in stock in the second-hand medal trade.
There are a number of websites and organisations that may be able to help in finding the medals, if they are out there in a collection or a trader’s stock. It is also sometimes worth trying a general internet search for the man’s name and number (if known) for that can reveal whether the medals have ever been sold at auction or are currently available for sale by a trader.
Try also asking for help at
If you use eBay, why not set up an alert on your account? You never know. I’ve had an alert set up just in case my wife’s great-uncle James McSloy’s medals ever appear – but this has been running for ten years without any sign of them.
There are several good suppliers of full-size replica medals. You will find them by an internet search. I have only ever used one myself and can confirm that the product and service was excellent. I have no connection with this company other than as a customer, so accept no responsibility for any transaction you may enter into.
Ministry of Defence
The MOD does not provide replacements or replicas for medals for the Great War.
MOD Medal Office