George Medal

George Medal

Infobox Military Award
name= The George Medal

caption= Obverse (top left) and reverse (top right) of the medal. Ribbon: 32mm, crimson with five narrow blue stripes.
awarded_by= UK and Comonwealth
type= Civil decoration.
eligibility= Those performing acts of bravery in, or meriting recognition by, the United Kingdom.
for= "... acts of great bravery."
status= Currently awarded.
description= Silver disc, 36mm diameter.
established= 24 September1940
total= approx 2,000
higher= George Cross
lower= Queen's Gallantry Medal, Sea Gallantry Medal

__NOTOC__The George Medal (GM) is the second level civil decoration of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. [Although certain Commonwealth Realms have now instituted their own indigenous honours systems, replacing the GM and other Commonwealth awards so far as their citizens are concerned.]

The GM was instituted on 24 September1940 by King George VI. [British Gallantry Medals, p138] At this time, during the height of The Blitz, there was a strong desire to reward the many acts of civilian courage. The existing awards open to civilians were not judged suitable to meet the new situation, therefore it was decided that the George Cross and the George Medal would be instituted to recognise both civilian gallantry in the face of enemy action and brave deeds more generally.

Announcing the new award, the King said: "In order that they should be worthily and promptly recognised, I have decided to create, at once, a new mark of honour for men and women in all walks of civilian life. I propose to give my name to this new distinction, which will consist of the George Cross, which will rank next to the Victoria Cross, and the George Medal for wider distribution."Fact|date=February 2007

The Warrant for the GM (along with that of the GC), dated 24 January1941, was published in the London Gazette on 31 January1941.

The medal is granted in recognition of "acts of great bravery"." [London Gazette, 31 January1941 - Warrant, Fifth clause] The GM was originally not issued posthumously, however the warrant was amended in 1977 to allow posthumous awards, several of which have been subsequently made. [Warrant of 30 November1977, published in London Gazette on 5 December1977]

The medal is primarily a civilian award; however The George Medal may be awarded to military personnel for gallant conduct which is not in the face of the enemy. [Which could not therefore be recognised by a military decoration, given that they typically require gallantry in the face of the enemy.] As the Warrant states:

:"The Medal is intended primarily for civilians and award in Our military services is to be confined to actions for which purely military Honours are not normally granted." [London Gazette, 31 January1941 - Warrant, Second clause]

Bars are awarded to the GM in recognition of the performance of further acts of bravery meriting the award. In undress uniform or on occasions when the medal ribbon alone is worn, a silver rosette is worn on the ribbon to indicate each bar. [London Gazette, 31 January1941 - Warrant, Seventh clause] Recipients are entitled to the postnominal letters GM. [London Gazette, 31 January1941 - Warrant, Ninth clause]

The details of all awards to British and Commonwealth recipients are published in the London Gazette.


* The George Medal is a circular silver medal. The obverse depicts the crowned effigy of the reigning monarch and a legend.
* The reverse show St. George on horseback slaying the dragon on the coast of England, with the legend THE GEORGE MEDAL around the top edge of the medal
* The ribbon is red with five equally spaced thin blue stripes. The blue colour is taken from the George Cross ribbon.

Notable recipients

* John Bridge
* Arthur Cobby
* Lionel "Buster" Crabb
* John Edward Dillon []
* Marie Dissard - (also known as: 'Francoise')
* Michou Dumont
* Florentino Goicoechea
* Leon Goldsworthy
* Elvire de Greef - (also known as: 'Tante Go')
* Maurice Griffiths
* Krystyna Gizycka- (nee: Countess Skarbek; also known as: 'Christine Granville')
* Mike Hailwood
* Andrée de Jongh - the Countess de Jongh
* Stanley McArdle
* Bernard Peter de Neumann
* Louis Nouveau
* Gary O'Donnell
* Andrew Clifford Parker - Human bridge on the "Herald of Free Enterprise"
* Lisa Potts
* David Purley
* Victor Rothschild, 3rd Baron Rothschild
* Hugh Randall Syme
* Tenzing Norgay
* Nancy Wake
* William Arthur Waterton



* Abbott, PE and Tamplin, JMA - "British Gallantry Awards", (1981), Nimrod Dix and Co.
* Duckers, P - "British Gallantry Awards 1855-2000", (2001), Shire Publications
* Mackay, J and Mussell, J (eds) - "Medal Yearbook - 2005", (2004), Token Publishing.

ee also

* British and Commonwealth orders and decorations

External links

* [ New Zealand Defence Force] - Medal information page
* [ Stephen Stratford] medal page

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  • George Medal — noun An award for gallantry given to civilians and members of the armed forces • • • Main Entry: ↑George * * * George Cross or George Medal, the highest award for civilian bravery presented by Great Britain. It was instituted in 1940 by George VI …   Useful english dictionary

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