Medals Research FAQ

Please note that the OMRS is unable to reply to individual requests for assistance with medal research. We do not hold any records of service nor do we undertake any professional research activities for members of the public. There are various UK Government web sites and professional researchers that can assist with such activities. Additionally, the following frequently asked questions may assist you and we wish you the best of luck with your research.

How do I research First World War medals?

faq1medalFirst World War campaign medal rolls are available on-line via the National Archives website, www.nationalarchives.org.uk by following the military history links. The index is free to view but there is a charge to download records. The National Archives is putting more material on-line so it is worth checking this web site on a regular basis. Also held at the National Archives are officers papers for the First World War and the surviving soldiers papers which are currently being copied onto an online facility. Full details are available on the NA website. If your ancestor was killed during the First World War, a search of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site may reveal additional information. A free search facility is available at www.cwgc.org.

How can I research Second World War medals?

Campaign medal rolls from 1924, including Second World War military records of service and medal entitlements, are still held by the Ministry of Defence and are not freely available to members of the public. The best start point for any post 1924 enquiries is the UK Veterans Agency at www.veteransagency.mod.uk For officers, it is sometimes possible to obtain information on dates of appointment and promotion from the London Gazette. A search facility is available free of charge on-line at www.london-gazette.co.uk .

How can I find out my ancestors' medal entitlement?

There are various commercial publications that contain medal rolls for British orders, decorations and campaign medals awarded prior to the First World War. Records for medals awarded prior to 1914 are also held at the National Archives, in ‘Class WO100′. They are not indexed. The National Archives also hold records for gallantry and distinguished service medals awarded up to 1980, in ‘Class WO373′. Additionally, most First World War and Second World War gallantry award notifications and citations appear in the London Gazette and are available to view and download free of charge on-line at www.london-gazette.co.uk, or at the major city libraries that hold hard copies which are indexed.

How much are my medals worth?

The value of medals is a very subjective and emotive subject and can be influenced by campaign, medal type and general condition, the availability of supporting ephemera and documentation, and prevailing market conditions. An indication of general market prices can be found through medal publications and journals, by viewing the web sites of medal dealers or auction houses, or visiting their premises. The OMRS does not provide medal valuations.

Where can I get more information on my medals?

More information on medals can be found in a number of ways: a) join the OMRS via our Join Us link, b) visiting military museums and/or major libraries, c) online web searches for information on campaigns, unit histories, books etc.

Other Useful Websites

faq6medalThe Commonwealth War Graves Commission: www.cwgc.org
The Imperial War Museum: www.iwm.org.uk
The National Army Museum: www.national-army-museum.ac.uk
The Family Records Centre: www.familyrecords.gov.uk
British Red Cross: www.redcross.org.uk
The Long Long Trail: www.1914-1918.net
Access to Archives: www.a2a.org.uk
The Royal British Legion: www.britishlegion.org.uk
Victoria Cross Society http://www.victoriacrosssociety.com/
George Cross Society email: marion-h@thequarryhouse.co.uk
Society for Army Historical Research http://www.sahr.co.uk/
The Birmingham Medal Society http://www.communigate.co.uk/worcs/bms/