23258: British Service Medals

Some of the honours awarded to Hebridean servicemen and women.

Military General Service Medal 1793-1814

Awarded only in 1847-48 to surviving veterans of campaigns during the Napoleonic Wars, 1801-1814. See the detailed record.

1914 Star, Mons Star and 1914-15 Star

Three distinct issues commemorated service during WW1. The 1914 Star, approved in 1917, was awarded to all who had served in France and Belgium between August and November 1914. In 1919 a bar was awarded to the 1914 Star for those who had been under fire, and this came to be known as the Mons Star. The 1914-1915 Star was awarded to those who saw service in any theatre of war between 1914 and 1915.

Distinguished Service Medal

The DSM was established on 14 October 1914 and was awarded to personnel of the Royal Navy and other services, and also to personnel of other Commonweath countries, up to the rank of Chief Petty Officer, for bravery and resourcefulness on active service at sea. It was equivalent to the Distinguished Service Cross. The DSM was discontinued in 1993 and was replaced by the Distinguished Service Cross, available to personnel of all ranks.

Distinguished Service Cross

The DSC is awarded to personnel (originally officers only) of the Royal Navy and other services for gallant or distinguished conduct during enemy actions at sea. Originally established in 1901 as the Conspicuous Service Cross, the award underwent several modifications before in 1993 replacing the DSM and becoming available to all ranks.

Distinguished Conduct Medal

The DCM was, until 1993, awarded to non-commissioned personnel of the British Army, other services and Commonweath countries, for conspicuous bravery in battle on land. The medal was established in 1854 during the Crimean War and was usually accompanied by a small pension. It was equivalent to the Distinguished Service Order for the commissioned ranks. The DCM was replaced in 1993 by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for all ranks. This CGC is the second highest award for gallantry, immediately below the Victoria Cross.

Distinguish Service Order

The DSO, instituted 1886 by Queen Victoria, is awarded to officers for meritorious or distinguished service during wartime, typically in combat. Since 1993 it has been awarded only for distinguished service in command, at any rank.

Military Cross

The Military Cross, established 1915, was awarded to commissioned officers in the British Army and other services for distinguished and meritorious services in battle on land. Since 1993 it has been extended to non-commissioned ranks. Bars are added to the ribbon for additional awards of the MC. Some 37,000 MCs were issued during WW1, and 11,000 during WW2.

Military Medal

Until 1993, the Military Medal was awarded to personnel, below commissioned rank, of the British Army and other services for bravery in battle on land. Established in 1916, it was the non-commissioned ranks’ equivalent of the Military Cross. It was discontinued in 1993 when the Military Cross became available to all ranks.

British Empire Medal

The British Empire Medal, military and civil divisions, was awarded for meritorious service warranting a mark of royal appreciation. It is affiliated with the Order of the British Empire though recipients are not members of the Order. The BEM is no longer given in the UK.


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