The BPMA has a large collection of nearly 200 military medals awarded to Post Office employees from the Crimean War of 1853–1856 up to the Second World War. Many of these were awarded to members of the Post Office Rifles, the Post Office's own volunteer corps.
The Post Office Rifles were first formed as a permanent volunteer regiment recruiting only Post Office employees in 1868 under Colonel Du Plat Taylor. They were named the 49th Middlesex Rifles Volunteers but this later changed to the 24th Middlesex Rifles Volunteers and the 8th Battalion, City of London Regiment.
The Post Office Rifles saw active service in Egypt in 1882, South Africa in 1899 and played an important part in the First World War, serving in France and Flanders. After the First World War, the battalion was amalgamated with various other battalions and so this saw the end of the Post Office Rifles as it was.
Our collection contains standard medals issued in the First and Second World Wars but also includes a rarer Victoria Cross, the highest British decoration for gallantry. The medals tell the story of the heroic acts of individuals who worked for the Post Office during wartime.
Examples from our Collection
Here are some examples of military medals in our collection: