Conspicuous Gallantry Medal


2015-06-26 11:24:31

Conspicuous Gallantry Medal

Until 1993, the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal was a military decoration awarded to members of the British Armed Forces and to personnel of other Commonwealth countries’ armed forces.


The Conspicuous Gallantry Medal was instituted in 1855 as an award the gallantry in the Royal Navy. The first issue was to reward gallantry in the Baltic and Crimea.

In 1874, the medal was reinstituted. From this date forth the medal was issued by the following observers: Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V and King George VI.

Queen Victoria issues 50 of these awards, Edward VII issued 2, George V issued 110 and George VI issues 72. Only one person had won a bar to his Conspicuous Gallantry Medal.

The Conspicuous Gallantry Medal was extended to the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1943, to recognise gallantry whilst flying in operations against the enemy.

103 RAF Conspicuous Gallantry Medals were awarded during World War II.

From 1901, nearly all Conspicuous Gallantry Medals have citations in the London Gazette.

Following the 1993 review this medal has been replaced by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.

The medal

The initial medal was the Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal, which had the words “For Meritorious Service” which was replaced with “For Conspicuous Gallantry”.

In 1921, the ribbon was changed from three equal blue and white stripes to white with dark blue edges to avoid any confusion with the Distinguished Service Order, which also had three stripes of white and blue.

The Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (RAF) was the same as the oringial medal but with a different ribbon of light blue with dark blue edges.

Notable sale

A Conspicuous Gallantry Medal awarded to Lance-Corporal Justin Thomas sold for £88,000 by auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb in September 2009.


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