The 1914 Star was awarded to all those who served in France and Belgium between 5 August and 22 November 1914. The majority of the 400,000 recipients were officers and men of the prewar British Army "the Old Contemptibles" who landed in France soon after the outbreak of WWI and who took part in the retreat from Mons; hence the nickname of Mons Star.
The bronze medal has a watered red, white, blue silk ribbon and is a crowned four-pointed star with crossed swords and a wreath of oak leaves with the royal cipher and a central scroll inscribed AUG NOV 1914.
The name, rank, unit and service number of the recipient is impressed on the reverse of the medal. The star pictured is from a private collection and was awarded to Private John Archer of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who served from 14th August 1914 and died of wounds on 29th March 1917.
The recipients of this medal were responsible for assisting the French army to hold back the German army in the first 16 weeks of the war whilst new recruits could be trained an equipped. They took part in key battles such as Mons, Le Cateau, Marne, Aisne and the first battle of Ypres.