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Old medals are objects of true fascination: tangible links with the past and poignant reminders of those who served. In recent centuries the British government has bestowed a wide range of awards, from the OBE to campaign medals like the 1914 Star. This awards system presents a great opportunity for historical research, whether your starting point is an ancestor, a regiment, a campaign, or a medal. Most awards are attributable to individual men and women, and documented in sources still available today. These sources can be incredibly informative: for example, First World War medals rolls are the nearest we have to a full 'roll-call' for the Great War. Unlike other works which focus on medals identification, this guide shows you how to fully exploit the associated records - and extend your research into sources like the census and the War Diaries. Enriched with case studies and full-colour photography, it is your ideal companion to medals research.
William Spencer has been a medal collector for over 25 years. He served in the Royal Navy before joining the National Archives in 1993, where he has been Military Specialist since 1996. He holds an MA in War Studies from King's College, London. Among his many publications for the National Archives are Army Service Records of the First World War (3rd edn) and Air Force Records for Family Historians. He lives in Surrey.