Sunday, July 27, 2008

[Medal: Allies] The Africa Star

The Africa Star (with 8th Army Clasp)

The Africa Star is a Commonwealth medal awarded for operational service in North Africa from 10th June, 1940 (Italy's entry to WW2) until 12th May, 1943 (defeat of Axis forces in Africa).

Three clasps are available for wear on the Africa Star. Those representing the 1st Army, 8th Army and Commonwealth troops serving in North Africa during 1942-1943.

The medal pictured has the 8th Army clasp attached to the ribbon. This means that the recipient served on active duty in North Africa under Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery as a member of the British 8th Army. The 9th Division was attached to the 8th Army for the period of the Alamein campaign from July to November, 1942.

The medal itself is a six pointed star of yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The Africa Star'. Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names and service numbers engraved on the plain reverse.

The red on the ribbon symbolises the Army, the sky blue the Air Force and the dark blue the Navy. The yellow represents the Western Desert.

An unnamed Africa Star with an 8th Army clasp in good original condition will sell for up to $100 on eBay. A named version (which all Australian Africa Stars were) will sell for more than an unnamed one. Personally my Grandfather's medals are priceless and no amount of money would see them leave the family.

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