Pictures and history of Irish medals and badges

Irish Volunteer Commemorative Organisation Memorabilia on Display

This post comes courtesy of the Irish Volunteers commemorative organisation,

Hello all,

We have been asked to put up more pictures of memorabilia that we have on display around the country, please see the pictures below. These include Irish volunteer cap badges, Irish war of Independence medals ,1916 Rising medals , also firearms of the period. Do not forget that we will have a display and lecture on in cork city on July 8, see

1916 Rising medal cased and volunteer badge
1916 Rising Armband
IRA broom handle” peter the painter” c 96 mauser with but extension
cumann na mban brooch and cap badge
door handle GPO 1916 rising
Irish Volunteers Dublin Brigade cap Badge
IRA Prisoners fund badge
IRA black and tan medal with comrac bar and volunteer badge

IRA thompson sub- machine guns
IRA Volunteers “peter the painter”
IRA webley revolver

irish volunteer belt buckle
Irish volunteer c 96 broom handle
irish volunteer cap badge white metal
Irish volunteer cap badge
Irish volunteer cap badges
Irish volunteer insignia
Irish volunteer rifle lee enfield
irish volunteer rifle
irish volunteer trefoil
limerick brigade cap badge
mayo brigade cap badge
tipperary brigade cap badge
irish volunteer rifle

Irish Medals & Awards Information

Irish War of Independence General Service Medal  (aka the “Black & Tan Medal” ).

The numbers below refer to those with the comrac bar and those without the comrac bar.

The Black and Tan  Comrac Bar medal :

The Black and Tan Comrac Bar medal , the comrac bar medal was for combatants only

Numbers issued:
The numbers below refer to those with the comrac bar and those without the comrac bar. One can see that there were at least 10 strikings of the Black & tan medal of both types, this can be seen in slight differences in the medals themselves. There were 15,224 Black and Tan medals with the  Comrac  bar issued and 47,644 without the Comrac bar issued. These figures cannot be exact as there were also replacement and late awards later on, so, they have to treated as approximately.
16th June 1941                                      10,000
22nd October 1942                                15,000
26th October 1945                                 3,000
28th May 1947                                       4,500
10th March 1949                                    1,500
7th November 1949                                3,000
16th June 1950                                      5,000
10th November 1951                              6,000
17th June 1953                                      6,700
3rd October 1957                                   2,500

2,411    issued.

DESIGNER :  Corporal Gerard O’Neill, Corps of Engineers, Irish Army.
MANUFACTURERS :  The Jewellery and Metal Manufacturing Co. Ltd and
P. Quinn Ltd.

DESIGNER :  Corporal Gerard O’Neill, Corps of Engineers, Irish Army.
PRODUCERS : P. Quinn Ltd  and  The Jewellery and Metal Manufacturing Co. Ltd .

Die struck in bronze, a slain cuchulain to front with the raven perched on his shoulder(signifying that he was indeed dead),

“SEACTMAIN NA CASGA 1916” to rear, meaning Easter week1916.

1916 Rising Medal

1916 Rising medal 1966 Survivors Medal

issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the Rising in 1966.

968 medals issued.

Producer :  Jewellery and Metal Mfg. Co. Ltd, Dublin.


1921 – 1971 Survivors Medal  Truce medal
(Truce Medal About 19,000)


1939 – 1946 Emergency Medal
all types,(Approximate, 240,000)

irish Army emergency medal

Cumann Na Bhan Brooches. Currently Unknown

cumann na mban Badge Brooch

Cumann Na Bhan Badges. Around 40

Cumann na mBan badge gold cap badge


Na Fianna Medal

Issued in 1959 to mark the anniversary of the founding of the Fianna. Approximately 2,000 medals  issued, privately issued by the Fianna , a non-government issue medal.

na fianna medal with members card


Irish Medals For The 1916 Rising & Irish War of Independence

17 May 2006
The need for the Minister for Defence, in view of the great success of the recent Easter 1916 commemorations, to clarify the current arrangements for the replacement of 1916 and War of Independence medals; and if he has any proposals to review these arrangements this year.
Senator Diarmuid Wilson
I am glad to have the opportunity to address this matter and I thank Senator Wilson for raising it.
It is not necessary for me to dwell on the importance of the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence to the nation. Together they led to the establishment of the State in which we live today and to the freedom we now enjoy. The importance of these events is also reflected in the fact that we have five military medals related to that period of our history.
For the information of Senators, I will give some brief background to each of the five medals.
The 1916 Medal was awarded to persons who participated in The Rising during the week commencing 23rd April 1916. Some 2,000 of these Medals were awarded.
The Service (1917-1921) Medal with Bar was awarded to persons who rendered active military service during the War of Independence. There were over 15,000 Medals awarded in this class.
The Service (1917-1921) Medal without Bar was awarded to persons whose service was not deemed active military service, but who were members of Oglaigh na hÉireann, (Irish Republican Army), Fianna Éireann, Cumann na mBan or the Irish Citizen Army continuously for the three months which ended with the Anglo-Irish Truce of the 11th July, 1921. Over 50,000 Medals were awarded in this class.
The 1916 Survivors Medal was created in 1966 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Rising of Easter Week 1916. The medal was issued to those who had been awarded the 1916 Medal and who were still alive at the time.
And lastly, the Truce (1921) Commemoration Medal was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Truce that ended the War of Independence. The medal was issued to Veterans of the War of Independence who were alive on the 11th July 1971 and who had been duly awarded the Service (1917-1921) Medal, whether with or without Bar.
The Department receives requests from time to time for the replacement of lost, stolen or destroyed Medals awarded to Veterans of the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence.
It has been settled policy of the Department of Defence for many, many years that replacement medals were issued on a once only basis on receipt of a bona-fidé request from the Veteran to whom the original medals were awarded. This policy was adopted in the interests of preserving the intrinsic value of the medals and to strictly limit the number of medals issued in any particular case. Although almost all of the Veterans are now deceased, the rationale for restricting the issue of replacement medals is still valid.
Apart from the intrinsic value of the medals, their monetary value on the open market is also a factor. Some indication of their value can be gleaned from the recent sale by auction of a posthumously awarded 1916 Medal that achieved a price of €105,000 on 12 April, 2006. Other 1916 and War of Independence medals, sold at the same auction, fetched amounts ranging from €3,200 to €14,000.
While this has been the long-standing Departmental policy, I can totally understand the feelings of the family members of Veterans whose requests for replacement Medals are refused.
These families feel rightfully proud of their ancestors’ service and contribution to the birth of this State and would like some visible expression of it. With this in mind: some weeks ago I initiated an examination in my Department of the possibility of issuing some form of official certificate for such cases.
I would envisage that the certificates would confirm that one of the medals in question had been issued to the named Veteran. If more than one medal had originally been issued, a separate certificate could be provided for each medal.
Officials in my Department are currently examining a number of options, including possible designs and formats for these certificates. I am confident that this initiative will go some way to addressing this problem and I expect that the examination in my Department will be completed very shortly.
On a related note, I was very pleased to be able to announce recently a substantial increase in the War of Independence pensions. I felt that the 90th anniversary of the 1916 Rising was an appropriate time to show the country’s appreciation of the major part played by Veterans in the foundation of the State. The pensions are being increased by 50% retrospectively to the 1st April 2006. They were last increased in mid-2004 when a 50% increase was also applied.
I trust that I have clarified matters to the satisfaction of the House.
The above makes interesting reading , the figures are estimates and cannot be taken as exact, please see some photos below of the medals mentioned.

Black & Tan Medal without Comrac Bar
Blach & Tan Medal with Comrac Bar, also know as The Service Medal

IRA Truce Medal , 1921-1971

1916 Rising Survivors medal, The 1916 Survivors Medal was created in 1966 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Rising of Easter Week 1916. The medal was issued to those who had been awarded the 1916 Medal and who were still alive at the time.

There are other badges and medals , official and unofficial that commemorate the Irish war of Independence , we will cover them in a later article.

Identifying a British Army cap Badge ( NOT IRA or Volunteers) Cork Connection

To Whom It May Concern,

I’ve been viewing your excellent website “The Irish War” for a period of several months now and have been very impressed with the information that it contains. In that regards, I am wondering if anyone can help me in identifying what regiment my great uncle Patrick Flynn might have belonged to, based on the uniform that he is wearing in the photo that I’ve attached. On the back of the photo there is written: “Patrick Flynn – IV Solider – 1905”. He is pictured with his younger brother Cornelius. Both were from Clonakilty, Co. Cork, Ireland. Patrick was born 1883. Con was born 1894. Patrick immigrated to the United States in 1906 to Cincinnati, Ohio, where I live, while Con stayed in Clonakilty, dying there in 1966.

I’ve tried blowing the image of the “Badge Cap” up to see what regiment my great uncle might have possibly belong to, but so far I’ve been unable to match it to any “Badge Cap” that I’ve seen on the internet. I’m assuming the “IV” on the back of the photo stands for “Irish Volunteer”, but I’m not positive, it could mean Fourth.

I’ve been told that the Uniform is that of a “First World War – British Army Khaki Service Uniform” – possibly a Calvary or Royal Horse Artillery unit based on; the ammunition bandoleer, “Cor Blimey Hat” and puttees.

Although, the uniform does seem to match the “1902 Pattern Service Dress” for the British army in WW1, the picture is not from the WW1 time period, because again, the photo is dated 1905 on the back and Patrick emigrated to the United States in 1906, and was living here in Cincinnati, Ohio during WW1. Also, if the picture was from the 1913 – 1918 time period — Con, the young boy in the picture would have been in his early 20’s – which is not the case, as you can see. If the picture is dated correctly, i.e., 1905 – the brothers would have been around 22 and 11 years of age respectively in 1905, which seems to match the picture correctly.

I know your website deals mostly with Irish medals, Irish militaria and uniforms of the 1916 Easter Rebellion and the Irish War of Independence, but maybe someone can recognize the Cap Badge, and tell me what army regiment my great uncle belonged to, because so far I’ve had no luck in identifying his regiment.

I would appreciate any information that you can send my way.

Thanks in advance for your help, I’m looking forward towards your reply.

Thank you,


Tim Flynn

1916 Rising, 1916-1966 Rising Survivors Medal

Here we have a nice example of the Irish 1916 Rising Survivors medal, nicely stamped. This is from Jerry McCarthy’s collection. Thanks for the pics, Jerry.

1916 Rising survivors medal obverse
1916 Rising survivors medal detail1916 Rising survivors medal detail