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GEORGE MEDAL

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Introduction

This page contains a copy of the Royal Warrant that introduced the George Medal, and details some of the changes made by subsequent warrants.

The Original Warrant Text

The following text is the Royal Warrant that introduced the George Medal on 24 September 1940. It should be noted that when the George Medal was introduced, it was not possible to award the medal posthumously.

GEORGE THE SIXTH, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, to all whom these Presents shall come,

GREETING!

WHEREAS We have taken into Our Royal consideration the many acts of great bravery performed both by male and by female persons especially during the present war:

And whereas We are desiring of honouring those who perform such deeds:

We do by these Presents for Us, Our Heirs and Successors institute and create a new Medal.

First:

It is ordained that the Medal shall be designated and styled "The George Medal".

Secondly:

It is ordained that the Medal shall be circular in form and silver, that it shall bear on the obverse the Crowned Effigy of the Sovereign, and on the reverse a representation of St. George slaying the Dragon on the coast of England, the design circumscribed by the words "The George Medal".

Thirdly:

It is ordained that the persons eligible for the medal shall be:

  • Our faithful subjects and persons under Our protection in civil life, male and female, of Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, India. Burma Our Colonies, and of Territories under Our Suzerainty, Protection and Jurisdiction.

  • Persons of any rank in the Naval, Military or Air Forces of Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of India. of Burma, of Our Colonies, and of Territories under Our Suzerainty, Protection or Jurisdiction, including the Home Guard and in India members of Frontier Corps and Military Police and members of Indian States' Forces and in Burma members of the Burma Frontier Force and Military Police, and including also the Military Nursing Services and the Women's Auxiliary Services.

  • Our faithful subjects and persons under Our protection in civil life, male and female, within, and members of the Naval, Military and Air Forces belonging to, any other part of Our Dominions, Our Government whereof has signified its desire that the Medal should be awarded under the provisions of this Warrant, and any Territory being administered by Us in such Government.

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.

Fourthly:

It is ordained that awards shall be made only on a recommendation to Us, for civilians by Our Prime Minister and the First Lord of the Treasury, and for Officers and members of Our Naval, Military and Air Forces, as described in the previous clause of this Our Warrant, only on a recommendation by Our First Lord of the Admiralty, Our Secretary of State for War or Our Secretary of State for Air, as the case may be.

Fifthly:

It is ordained that the Medal shall be awarded only for acts of great bravery.

Sixthly:

It is ordained that foreign persons shall be eligible for the award of the Medal and that awards to such persons not included in the Third Clause of this Our Warrant shall be made only on a recommendation to Us for civilians by Our Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and for Officers and members of foreign military Forces by Our First Lord of the Admiralty, Our Secretary of State for War or Our Secretary of State for Air as the case may be.

Seventhly:

It is ordained that the Medal shall be worn by recipients on the left breast suspended from a ribbon one-and-a-quarter inches in width, of red, with five equidistant narrow vertical stripes of blue, and that it shall be worn immediately after the King's Police and Fire Services Medal for gallantry. Provided that when the Medal is worn by a woman, it may be worn on the left shoulder, suspended from a ribbon of the same width and colour fashioned into a bow.

Eighthly:

It is ordained that the award of the Medal shall entitle the recipient, on all occasions when the use of such letters is customary to have placed after his or her names the letters "GM."

Ninthly:

It is ordained that an action which is worthy of recognition by the award of the Medal, but is performed by one upon whom the Medal has been conferred, may be recorded by the award of a Bar to be attached to the ribbon by which the Medal is suspended, that for each such additional award an additional Bar shall be added, and that for each Bar awarded a silver rosette shall be added to the ribbon when worn alone.

Tenthly:

It is ordained that the names of all those upon whom We may be pleased to confer or present the Medal, or a Bar to the Medal, shall be published in the London Gazette, and that a Register of such names shall be kept in the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood.

Eleventhly:

It is ordained that reproductions of the Medal, known as a Miniature Medal, which may be worn on certain occasions by those to whom the Medal is awarded shall be half the size of the George Medal.

Twelfthly:

It is ordained that it shall be competent for Us, Our Heirs and Successors by an Order under Our Sign Manual and on a recommendation to that effect by or through Our Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury, Our First Lord of the Admiralty, Our Secretary State for War or Our Secretary of State for Air, as the case may be, to cancel or annul the award to any person of the George Medal and that thereupon the name of such a person in the Register shall be erased: provided that it shall be competent for Us, Our Heirs and Successors to restore the Medal so forfeited when such recommendation has been withdrawn.

Lastly:

We reserve to Ourself, Our Heirs and Successors, full power of annulling, altering, abrogating, augmenting, interpreting or dispensing with these rules and ordinances, or any part thereof, by a notification under Our Sign Manual.

Given at Our Court of St. James's, the twenty-fourth of September, one thousand nine hundred and forty, in the fourth year of Our Reign.

Subsequent Warrant Modifications

On 17 October 1942, an amendment was issued to the George Medal Warrant. This concerned the 3rd, 4th and 12th clauses. These modifications permitted condominium awards and the direct submission of nominations by Dominion Governments.

On 9 April 1964 an amendment was issued to the George Medal Warrant. This concerned the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 12th clauses. This again modified the warrant concerning the contribution of Commonwealth countries in the recommendation of George Medal awards, and their role in the removal of previously awarded George Medals.

On 30 November 1977, an amendment was issued to the George Medal Warrant. The major modification was to allow the award of posthumous awards; the award of the George Medal to people who died performing the act of bravery for which they were nominated.

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