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1914-1915 Star WWI : Leading Seaman Albert Best

Date: 1914-1918
Overall: 65 x 45 mm, 50 g
Medium: Bronze
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Roger Mawby
Classification:Coins and medals
Object Name: Medal
Object No: 00044401

User Terms

    This medal was awarded to Albert Best for active naval service during 1914-1915. The four pointed star features a crossed gladius, overlaid with an oak wreath and the cypher (GV) of King George V. Best was in active service for five years and awarded four medals, including the Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, the World War I Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

    SignificanceBest's medal illustrates the high level of service and dedication demonstrated by servicemen in World War I. It represents the official recognition given to men who served in the war during 1914-1918.
    HistoryWorld War I was known as 'the war to end all wars', and involved many young men serving to defend Australia and the Allied forces from the Central Powers. The conflict broke out in 1914 and continued until 1918, with a great loss of life. Australia, being part of the Commonwealth Allied forces, sent troops to fight in Gallipoli as well as other theatres of war, contributing to the now historic 'Anzac legend'.

    Best was born 11 August 1879 in Alverstoke Hampshire, England. He reported for active naval service in Sydney on 23 April 1913 and was discharged 9 October 1919, after his five year engagement expired and at his own request.

    During his time with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Best served in five ships including HMAS PENGUIN, HMS PSYCHE, HMAS CERBERUS and HMAS TINGIRA. He received four medals for his service including the Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal which is an 1848 design that was first intended to recognise periods of 21 years excellent service but was reduced to 10 years in 1874, and then later increased to 15 years. The 1914-15 Star (which is not to be confused with the 1914 'Mons' Star) was awarded to those who had given service in the fight against the Central Powers between the outbreak of war in August 1914 and the end of 1915, either on land or sea. By the end of the war 2,366,000 Stars were awarded in total and were always given in conjunction with the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, upon active service during and immediately after the First World War.

    Albert Best originally enrolled in the Royal Navy (RN) at the London Depot on 23 April 1913 and was serving on HMAS PENGUIN when it was commissioned on 1 July 1913. He was onboard the ship until 6 August 1915 while it served as the RAN's Sydney depot ship. Then on 7 August 1915, Best was stationed in HMS PSYCHE of the Royal Navy's Australian Squadron. Departing Sydney in August 1915, it sailed via Thursday Island and Singapore to Rangoon and patrolled the Burma coast and Malayan Archipelago. In 1916, PSYCHE conducted patrols off the coast of South China and Indo-China before it was replaced by HMS SUFFOLK and returned to the Bay of Bengal.

    Albert Best was commissioned Leading Seaman on 9 August 1917, during the time when HMS PSYCHE sailed for home via the Arafura Sea. Best then continued his service in HMS PENGUIN between 17 October 1917 and 29 November 1917. From 30 November 1917 until 16 August 1918 he served in HMAS CERBERUS which was taken over by the RAN from the RN in 1911. During Best's time there, CERBERUS was used as an explosives storeship. Until his discharge date on 9 October 1919, Albert Best served in HMAS TINGIRA, used as a boys' training ship for the RAN. This completed his five year service.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: World War I 1914-1915 Star awarded to Leading Seaman Albert Best

    Primary title: 1914-1915 Star WWI : Leading Seaman Albert Best

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