First World - A multimedia history of world war one

1933 Pip, Squeak and Wilfred annualPip, Squeak and Wilfred
Updated - Sunday, 9 March, 2003

The origin of the term Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, obscure at best, relates to four British campaign medals instituted as a consequence of the First World War.

Pip, Squeak and Wilfred actually comprised three comic strip characters popular in the immediate post-war era (a dog, a penguin and a rabbit, respectively).  Published in the tabloid Daily Mirror the characters were supposedly named by the cartoon's illustrator Austin B. Payne after his wartime batman who went by the nickname 'Pip-Squeak'.

A series of British First World War campaign medals was introduced at about the same time that the comic strip gained widespread acclaim; these were subsequently given a nickname to represent each cartoon character: bizarrely the names stuck.

'Pip' was in fact used to describe two separate campaign medals, the 1914 Star and the 1914-15 Star (the former more commonly if incorrectly referred to as the 'Mons Star').  Holders of the 1914 Star were not eligible for the 1914-15 Star, thus only one could be held at once.

'Squeak' was the named used to describe the British War Medal; and the Inter-Allied Victory Medal was referred to as 'Wilfred' (the medal was also simply referred to as the Victory Medal or the Allied War Medal).

A "pal's battalion" was comprised of soldiers raised in the same locality with the promise they would serve with their friends for the duration of the war.

Original Material
© Michael Duffy 2000-07, SafeSurf Rated