WWII: what medals can mean

By Caroline Spinks


These five medals have been hanging on my parents’ wall for so long, I chose them to write about. These six pictures are of the medals. All of them were awarded to Douglas George William Spinks, my great-grandfather, during WWII. Read on for their family names and interesting stories…

The Medals

The first illustrious star-shaped medal you see here was awarded for at least one day land service in Italy, Greece, and several other places, and goes by the name of the Italy Star, although I think it’s name is Steve. The next medal’s name is Bill, but it tells us to call it The Africa Star. We ignore it, and call him Billy. He was awarded for service in North Africa. The next one, Tim, says he’s the 1939-45 star. He got on the wall because my Great-Grandfather served the entire war, in a nutshell. The next one’s name is Albus Percival Wolfric Brian Dumbledore, but we call him the Defense Medal. Why we don’t just call him Albus, I have no idea. He was awarded for serving full or part time for at least three years in the UK during active hostilities in Europe. The last one’s name is Willow, and she has an Oak Leaf. She is the War Medal, and she was given for serving full time for at least 28 days. The oak leaf was for being mentioned in dispatches. My great-grandfather laid a cable through a minefield after a mine killed the two guys doing it in front of him. Thee medal's human names are purely fictional and were made up solely for this report.

My Great-Grandfather

My Great-Grandfather was a Corporal in WWII, and he was from the Royal Corps of Signals, who handled communications. He lied about his age to get in the war, when he was 17, not 18. His birthday was July 12, 1922. He was born in Braintree, a town in England. He did lots of heroic things, for someone from the Royal Corps of Signals, who just did communications and stuff.


There is one important thing that now comes to mind when I think of this period. WWII! Apparently: “almost every country in the world at that time was involved in WWII at some point”, so it really earned its name. Everyone in the US was doing his or her part for the war.

Technology Today

War today has more advanced weapons, and I heard that they're developing mines that don’t blow up if they're tripped by someone with the right uniform on, so you don’t trip your own mine! There was a lot of technological evolution in the 1940’s. There’s always some technological evolution going on in the world, but the world’s pretty futuristic already, what with iPhone5s, iPad3s, apple TVs, and I heard some Canadian scientist is working on the science of clones! Wow, that’s impressive!


We are not in a world war today, although with the war all the way in Syria, it must feel like it to those people who have to travel all over the globe. We are (almost) all friends again, although my English dad and his French friend love to tease each other when England beats France in a soccer game, or vice versa.


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