Military Medal

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Military Medal
File:Military Medal (UK).png

UK Military Medal ribbon.svg
Obverse of medal and ribbon
Awarded by UK and Commonwealth
Type Military decoration
Eligibility British and (formerly) Commonwealth forces
Awarded for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire
Status Discontinued in 1993
Established 25 March 1916
(back dated to 1914)
Order of Wear
Next (higher) Distinguished Service Medal[1]
Next (lower) Distinguished Flying Medal[1]
Related Military Cross

The Military Medal (MM) was (until 1993) a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other services, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land.

The medal was established on 25 March 1916.[2] It was the other ranks' equivalent to the Military Cross (MC), which was awarded to commissioned officers and, rarely, to warrant officers, although WOs could also be awarded the MM. The MM ranked below the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), which was also awarded to non-commissioned members of the Army.[3]

Recipients of the Military Medal are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "MM".[4] Over 115,000 awards were made for actions during the First World War. Additionally, over 5,700 bars were awarded, as well as 180 second bars. There was one instance of a third bar being awarded;[4] this was made to Private Ernest Albert Corey, who served as a stretcher bearer in the Australian 55th Infantry Battalion, which served on the Western Front.[5] During the Second World War, over 15,000 awards of the MM were made.[4] The decoration has occasionally been bestowed upon non British or Commonwealth subjects, and has also been awarded to some civilians, with the first such awards being made to two female civilians for actions during the Easter Rising in 1916.[4]

In 1993, the Military Medal was discontinued. Since then the Military Cross has been awarded to personnel of all ranks within the British honours system.[5] Several Commonwealth nations, such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, have established their own honours systems in the post Second World War era and now award their own gallantry decorations.[5][6][7]


The medal and ribbon had the following features:[3][4]

  • A circular silver medal of 36 mm diameter. The obverse bears the effigy of the reigning monarch.
  • The reverse has the inscription "FOR BRAVERY IN THE FIELD" in four lines, surrounded by a laurel wreath, surmounted by the Royal Cypher and Imperial Crown
  • The suspender is of an ornate scroll type.
  • The ribbon is dark blue, 1.25 inches wide, with five equal centre stripes of white, red, white, red, and white (0.125 inches each).
  • Silver, laurelled bars are authorised for subsequent awards.
Ribbon bars of the Military Medal
UK Military Medal ribbon.svg
  UK MM w Bar ribbon.svg
MM and Bar

Notable recipients of the Military Medal

French soldiers, after having been awarded the Military Medal, Battle of the Somme 1916

Over 135,000 people have been awarded the Military Medal. Among the more notable recipients are:

Popular culture

In Soldier Soldier broadcast on ITV, at the 50th D Day Anniversary, Robson Green's character, Fusilier Dave Tucker, gets a veteran called Jack Knight talking, who subsequently turns out to be a recipient of the Military Medal.

In the Dad's Army episode Branded, the platoon discover that the character Private Godfrey, was a Conscientious Objector. He is then ostracized by the platoon until they find that he won the Military Medal in the First World War whilst serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps. The medal itself is central to the storyline in that it is higher than all the medals held by the rest of the platoon and is seen as a mark of true heroism which earns him great respect from them all.

In ANZAC Girls episode 6, "Courage", Sister Ross-King and three other nurses are awarded the Military Medal for bravery under fire.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "JSP 761 Honours and Awards in the Armed Forces" (PDF). p. 12A-1. Retrieved 7 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29535. p. 3647. 4 April 1916.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The British (Imperial) Military Medal". Vietnam Veterans of Australia Association. Retrieved 4 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Duffy, Michael. "Encyclopedia: Military Medal". Retrieved 4 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Imperial Awards". It's an Honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 4 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Military Valour Decorations". Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 4 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Gallantry and Bravery Awards". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 4 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 The London Gazette: no. 54393. p. 6549. 9 May 1996.

External links