The Africa star was awarded, without any inscription, to British troops after the end of world war two to recognise service in the North African and mediteranean campaigns.
The ribbon colours represent RED =Army, Dark blue = Navy, Light Blue = RAF and the pastel coloured khaki background the sand of the desert.
Two bars were awarded to those soldiers that fought as either part of the 1st or 8th Army groups.
The “star” series of UK medals commemerating the second world war covered numerous campaigns and as many soldiers, sailors and Airmen fought in numerous theatres the number of stars on display was limited to a maximum of three. Where the awardee was entilted to more than three WW2 campaign stars bars were issued to be worn on the ribbon of a corresponding star.
In addition to the bars replacing stars in the scenario above three clasps were issued solely to recocgnise specific military formations. These were the:
1st Army & 8th Army bars for the Africa star
Battle of Britain bar for the 1939-45 Star.