Empire Gallantry Medal

Empire Gallantry Medal

Infobox Military Award
name= Empire Gallantry Medal

awarded_by= United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
type= Civil decoration
eligibility= British and Commonwealth subjects
status= Revoked by Royal Warrant on 24 September 1940
description= Circular medal, 36mm in diameter, with the recipients name around the rim, obverse picturing Britannia, her left and resting on a shield and right hand holding a trident, with a sun in the upper right corner. The medal's appearance varied between its conception and revocation
established= 29 December 1922
first_award= 1 January 1923
total=112 [ [http://www.gc-database.co.uk/alpha.htm gc-database.co.uk List of awardees] , retrieved 22 June 2007]
same=Albert Medal (lifesaving), Edward Medal, British Empire Medal

The Empire Gallantry Medal, officially the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry, was a British award for acts of the highest civilian gallantry. King King George V introduced the award on 29 December 1922. The medal and ribbon were designed first by Langford Jones, though it was changed throughout its existence. After it was revoked by Royal Warrant on 24 September 1940 and replaced by the George Cross, all living recipients and the next-of-kin of recipients that had died after 3 September 1939 (the start of World War II) were obliged to exchange the Empire Gallantry Medal for the George Cross. Recipients were entitled to use the post-nominal letters EGM, and were categorised in either the military or civil divisions of the award.

The EGM, along with the Albert Medal (lifesaving) and Edward Medal, was not considered to hold the same prestige as the Victoria Cross, partly the justification for the introduction of the George Cross after the Blitz.


It was the result of the splitting in 1922 of the British Empire Medal into the Medal of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for Gallantry (EGM) and the Medal of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service, staying as the BEM. The BEM continued to be awarded after 1940, when the EGM was superseded by the George Cross, and was divided into military and civil divisions in a similar way to the EGM. Recipients of either the BEM or EGM were not members of the Order, and the award of the BEM has fallen into abeyance in the United Kingdom since 1992, though is still awarded in other Commonwealth Realms.


The phrase "For God and the Empire" was inscribed round the upper side of the obverse. The first type of reverse had six lions, with the Royal Cypher centered. The 2nd type of reverse had four lions, two on either side of the Royal Cypher. The original ribbon was plain purple, with the addition of a thin vertical red stripe for military awards. A silver laurel branch was added diagonally to the ribbon for both types of award in 1933. The ribbon changed to rose ink with pearl grey edges in July 1937, with an addition pearl grey vertical stripe for military awards, and stayed in this version until its revocation.


External links

* [http://www.stephen-stratford.co.uk/egm.htm Information]
* [http://www.army.mod.uk/lightinfantry/history_traditions/valour_gallantry.htm Ministry of Defence Information]
* [http://www.gc-database.co.uk/exchanges.htm Information on exchanges of medals]
* [http://collections.iwm.org.uk/server.php?show=ConWebDoc.940&navId=00g003 Imperial War Museum: George Cross and Empire Gallantry Medal]

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