This medal was awarded to all full-time personnel of the Armed Forces. Operational and non-operational service of at least 28 days counted. The Merchant Navy requirement stated that the 28 days minimum should be served at sea. The recipient was awarded this medal if their service period was terminated by their death, disability due to service or capture as a prisoner-of-war and their service qualified them for one of the stars. Also if the recipient had received one of the stars for a service period of less than 28 days, they were also awarded the War Medal. The UK War Medals were made from cupro-nickel, whilst the Canadian War Medal are made from silver.
Below: The British War Medal awarded to my Grandfather, Tancred Formosa during his service in the British Merchant Navy. On the left the obverse and on the right the reverse side of the medal.