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Conspicuous Gallantry Medal

Conspicuous Gallantry Medal

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Top: CGM obverse(Flying)
Lower left: CGM (at sea) until 1921 (w. bar)
Lower right: CGM (at sea) post 1921
Awarded by UK and Commonwealth
Type Military decoration
Eligibility British, (formerly) Commonwealth, and allied forces
Awarded for Gallantry in the field
Status Discontinued 1993
Established 7 July 1874
Total awarded Victoria: 61
Edward VII: 2
George V: 110
George VI: 183
Elizabeth II: 3
Total: 359[1]
Order of Wear
Next (higher) Distinguished Conduct Medal[2]
Next (lower) [2]

The Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) was, until 1993, a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Armed Forces (and from September 1942 to personnel of the Merchant Navy of rank equivalent to that of petty officer or seaman) and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for conspicuous gallantry in action against the enemy at sea or in the air.

The original Royal Navy medal was instituted briefly in 1855, and fully on 7 July 1874. During World War II, the Royal Air Force medal – the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying) – was added, from 1943.

The Medal was the other ranks' equivalent of the Distinguished Service Order when awarded for bravery to commissioned officers, although it ranked well below that in order of precedence, between the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal. Recipients of the medal are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "CGM".

In 1993, the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, Distinguished Service Order (when awarded specifically for gallantry) and Distinguished Conduct Medal were all replaced by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC). The CGC is tri-service and is awarded to all ranks. It is second only to the Victoria Cross for bravery in action.


  • Notable recipients 1
  • Description 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Notable recipients

Victoria Cross.

Acting Chief Petty Officer Arthur Robert Blore won a Conspicuous Gallantry Medal in 1915 and a bar to it in 1918.[3]

"Bugler Ernest Sillence. Royal Marine Light Infantry. Behaved with distinguished gallantry on 4th May (1915) during operations South of Achi Baba in volunteering to throw back enemy bombs into enemy lines at great personal risk, thereby saving the lives of many of his comrades."[4][5]

"Sergt. Frank John Knill of the Royal Marines, R.M.A., No. R.M.A./12738. This non-commissioned officer was in charge of Vindictive's howitzer, which fired continuously under the most difficult conditions during the whole period that the ship was alongside the mole at Zeebrugge. In spite of being semi-gassed, Sergt. Knill did not leave his post, but remained in charge of his gun until it ceased firing." [6]

CPO (Diver) Hammond was the last recipient of the CGM since the inception of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) in 1993. Only six CGM (Navy) have been issued during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the second.

Corporal John Coughlan RAAF was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal in 1968, for actions as a helicopter crewman in Vietnam.[7] This was the only CGM (Flying) awarded since the 1940s.


  • The medal is circular, silver, 36mm in diameter. The obverse of this medal bears the head of the reigning monarch
  • The reverse has the words 'FOR CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY' in three lines, encircled by a laurel wreath and surmounted by an Imperial Crown.
  • The suspender is of an ornate scroll type.
  • The ribbon for the naval version of the medal was changed in 1921 from one of two stripes of dark blue flanking a central white stripe to a white ribbon with narrow dark blue edge stripes. On its institution, the Air Force version of the ribbon was sky blue with narrow dark blue edge stripes.
  • A silver, laurelled bar was awarded for additional acts of pre-eminent bravery.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Royal Museums Greenwich
  7. ^

External links

  • NZDF medals
  • Stephen Stratford medal page
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