The Austrian First World War Commemorative Medal (or Kreigserinnerungsmedaille in German) was awarded to those Austrians who served in the armed forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the First World War 1914-1918.
The medal was officially gazetted by the Austrian government on 21 December 1932.
In November 1933 the government effectively created two classes for the award by announcing that all front line troops, and any other service personnel who had been wounded in action or taken prisoner, would be entitled to have a crossed swords device added to their medals to distinguish them from other recipients. The crossed swords device (in gilt) was attached to the ribbon.
The Austrian First World War Commemorative Medal Design
The medal was designed by Edwin Grienauer (1893-1964), a prominent Austrian sculptor and medalist that would later teach at the Vienna Arts Academy, who was himself a veteran of the First World War.
The obverse depicts an eagle standing on a shield displaying the medieval arms of the Duchy of Austria (which formed part of the new coat of arms of the post-war Republic of Austria) and below this is the inscription ‘FÜR ÖSTERREICH‘ (“For Austria“).
The reverse displays the dates ‘1914-1918’ and beneath them, the name of the artist, ‘GRIENAUER‘, surrounded by an oak wreath border.
The ribbon is red and white, with the stripes diagonally palced.