To mark the opening of the new Military Archives (April 2016), the Department of Defence is releasing the files of 47,554 applicantsclaiming for the 1916 Medal and the Service (1917-1921)Medal (including 197 successful applications for the 1916 Medal). The total number of files processed and available for viewing is 66,174 as some applicants have more than one file under their name.

2,594 veterans qualified for the award of a 1916 Medal. Most did not need to apply for a medal separately from their pension application as medals were issued automatically once the applicant was awarded a service certificate and a pension.

The Medals series database is released online to allow the public to search for their relative(s) in that series. However the files in this case are to be accessed by researchers through appointment at the Military Archives.

If you want to know more about the Medals and how they were awarded, please download the Medals Booklet (full PDF). Please see a list of chapters below:

Replacement medals?

Replacement medals are not issued. It is the long standing policy that replacement Medals were issued on a once only basis to the Veteran to whom the Medal had originally been 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. As there are no surviving Veterans at this stage it is not intended that any further replacement medals will be issued.

Medal Certificates?

In May 2006 the Minister for Defence decided to introduce official certificates for issue in cases where medals are lost, destroyed or stolen and no replacement medal can be issued. The Minister’s decision was mainly in response to the feelings of family members of Veterans whose requests for replacement medals were refused and who would like some visible expression of their ancestors’ service and contribution. On receipt of a completed application form and the appropriate verification, official signed certificates (in Irish or English) can be issued confirming that the relevant medal had been awarded to the named veteran. Certificates are issued on a once off basis to the nearest next of kin.

Application forms for medal certificates are available from Pensions Administration, Department of Defence, Áras an tSáile, Renmore, Galway, e-mail:, telephone: 091-743899.

If you have more questions about the medals, please see our FAQ section.