The 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medals
Also known collectively as “Pip, Squeak and Wilfred”.
The 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medals were commonly known as “Pip, Squeak and, Wilfred. These were the affectionate names given to these three WW1 campaign medals — The Star1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal (“Dead Man’s Penny”) respectively. These medals were primarily awarded to the Old Contemptibles (B.E.F.) and by convention all three medals are worn together and in the same order from left to right when viewed from the front. The set of three medals or at least the British War Medal and the Victory Medal are the most likely medals to be found among family heirlooms.
When these WW1 medals were issued in the 1920’s it coincided with a popular comic strip published by the Daily Mirror newspaper. It was written by Bertram J. Lamb (Uncle Dick), and drawn by the cartoonist Austin Bowen Payne (A.B. Payne). Pip was the dog, Squeak the penguin and Wilfred the young rabbit. It is believed that A. B. Payne’s batman during the war had been nicknamed “Pip-squeak” and this is where the idea for the names of the dog and penguin came from. For some reason the three names of the characters became associated with the three campaign medals being issued at that time to many thousands of returning servicemen, and they stuck.