The Italy Star
11th June 1943 to 8th May 1945
A star with six
bevelled points. In the centre the initials ‘GRI’ with a crown above and
‘VI’ below, partly circled by a band bearing the words ‘THE ITALY STAR’
Flat and plain.
Approx. 38mm across.
Approx. 31 mm wide.
Red, white, green, white, red, stripes all of equal width. The stripes
represent the three colours of the Italian national flag.
The ribbon passes
through a bronze ring (approx. 12 mm diameter) which is fixed through a
loop at the top of the star.
All issued unnamed,
but some have been engraved privately.
service in Sicily or Italy from the date of the capture of the island of
Pontellaria, 11th June, 1943, to the end of the war in Europe, 8th May
1945. The following qualifications apply to the Army only. There was no
prior-service time qualification. Operational service between 11th June
1943 and 8th May 1945 in the Aegean Sea, Corsica, Sardinia, Elba, Greece,
the Dodecanese and Yugoslavia also qualified, but service in Sicily after
17th Aug. 1943, in Sardinia after 19th Sept. 1943, and Corsica after 4th
Oct. 1943 did not qualify. Service in Austrian territory in the days
immediately prior to the end of the War in Europe qualified for the Italy
Star and not for the France and Germany Star.
Visits to this Theatre of
Operations qualified for The Italy Star provided such a visit was over
thirty days’ duration and was undertaken with the authority of one of the
Commanders in Chief.
The Italy Star was not issued
automatically. Those who thought they were entitled had to apply.
The King’s Own
The 1st Battalion
suffered many casualties during the German airborne and sea landings on
the Dodecanese island of Leros in November 1943. Those who managed to
escape the Island’s fall and details left behind when the Battalion had
sailed for Leros, were taken over by the 8th Battalion, by then in
Palestine as part of the 25th Indian Infantry Brigade, 10th Indian
Division. The lack of reinforcements at that time made it impossible to
re-form the 1st Battalion and agreement was reached that the 8th Battalion
should assume the identity of 1st Battalion. The re-constituted Battalion
landed in Italy on 28th March 1944 and served with distinction in the
Tiber Valley in 1944. The Battalion was on the River Senio in January
1945 and later at Monte Grande until April. It was resting at Ferrara in
Northern Italy when the Campaign ended on 2nd May. After the end of the
war the Battalion moved to Bolzano in the Tyrol and in early 1946
transferred to 24th Guards Brigade, 56th (London) Division at the
disputed zone of Trieste on the Yugoslav frontier, where it remained until
Men of the 1st Battalion who
served in Italy up to 8th May 1945 were awarded The Italy Star, as also
were those of the Former 223 Battery, 56th (King’s Own) Anti-Tank Regiment
R.A., which became 1st Air Landing Anti-Tank Battery R.A. in 1941 and
served with the 1st Airborne Division in the Sicily landings of 1943.
Italy Stars in the
The Italy Star