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Empire Gallantry Medal
Empire Gallantry Medal.PNG
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 awarded 1 January 1923
Total awarded 130[1]
Next (higher) Kings' Police Medal [2]
Next (lower) Indian Police Medal

The Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry, usually known as the Empire Gallantry Medal (EGM), was a British medal awarded for acts of the gallantry that did not reach the standard required for the Albert Medal and the Edward Medal. King George V introduced it on 29 December 1922. Recipients were entitled to use the post-nominal letters "EGM" and as a Medal of the Order of the British Empire it was also divided into military and civil divisions. Unlike appointments to the Order of the British Empire it could be awarded posthumously.

History[edit | edit source]

In 1922, the original Medal of the Order of the British Empire was split into two, the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry (EGM) awarded for acts of gallantry, and the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service that is generally known as the British Empire Medal (BEM) awarded for meritorious services and was the lower level award of the Order of the British Empire. The EGM was awarded until 1940, when it was superseded by the George Cross.

Shortly after the commencement of the Blitz, King George VI created the George Cross to recognize gallantry by men and women in all walks of civilian life. It was to rank immediately after the Victoria Cross. The Empire Gallantry Medal was revoked by Royal Warrant on 24 September 1940. All living recipients and the next-of-kin of recipients who had been posthumously awarded the medal after 3 September 1939 (the start of World War II) were obliged to exchange the Empire Gallantry Medal for the George Cross. It was only in 1971, that then living recipients of the Albert Medal and Edward Medal were deemed to be George Cross recipients. Most former Albert Medal and Edward Medal recipients accepted the invitation to change their original insignia for the George Cross but unlike the Empire Gallantry Medalists they were not obliged to exchange their original insignia.[3]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

The medal and ribbon were designed first by Langford Jones, though it was changed throughout its existence. 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.[4] 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.

Statistics[edit | edit source]

  • Civil Division 64 (3 posthumous)
  • Military Division 62 (5 posthumous)
  • Honorary awards 4

The four honorary awards were not able to be exchanged for the George Cross and neither were the four posthumous awards prior to 3 September 1939. Of the remaining 122 awards, 112 were exchanged including four Military Division posthumous awards gazetted after the start of World War II.

Recipients[edit | edit source]

Empire Gallantry Medal recipients
Name Rank (or Role) Award Organisation Date gazetted Image
Hodge , Alexander Mitchell Alexander Mitchell Hodge Sub Lieutenant EGM Royal Navy 14 Mar 1940
Sewell , Stanley William Stanley William Sewell Explosive Workers EGM Royal Gunpowder Factory 6 Feb 1940[5]
O'Hagen , Leo Francis Leo Francis O'Hagen Explosive Workers EGM Royal Gunpowder Factory 6 Feb 1940[6]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. P E Abbott and J M A Tamplin. British Gallantry Awards, Nimrod Dix & Co, 1981, ISBN 0 902633 74 0, Chapter 36, p. 242
  2. Order of Wear, London Gazette, No. 34277, Friday, 24 April 1936, pp. 2621-23
  3. P E Abbott and J M A Tamplin. British Gallantry Awards, Nimrod Dix & Co, 1981, ISBN 0 902633 74 0, Chapter 36, pp. 240-43
  4. Imperial War Museum. "Empire Gallantry Medal (Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry) (Military Division) & EGM [OMD 14"]. IWM Collections Search. http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30007456. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  5. http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/34786/pages/714/page.pdf
  6. http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/34786/pages/714/page.pdf

External links[edit | edit source]

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