British Military & Criminal History
1900 to 1999.
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Empire Gallantry Medal
The Empire Gallantry Medal (officially called the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry) was introduced on 29 December 1922. It was intended to recognise specific acts of gallantry, and was replaced by the George Cross. When the George Cross was introduced in September 1940, living recipients of the EGM could return their EGM and receive the George Cross. Also the next-of-kin of those EGM recipients who had died after 3 September 1939, could exchange the EGM for the GC.
The EGM itself was a circular silver medal, 36 millimetres in diameter, with the recipient's name around the medal's rim.
The obverse (outward facing side) had the seated figure of Britannia, her left hand resting on a shield and her right hand holding a trident. In the upper right corner was a blazing sun. The phrase "For God and the Empire" was around the upper side of this face.
The 1st type of reverse side had 6 lions, with the Royal Cipher in the middle. The 2nd type of reverse side had four lions; two either side of the Royal Cipher.
The EGM's ribbon was altered on several occasions. It was originally plain purple (civil awards), with a thin scarlet central stripe for military awards. From July 1937 the ribbon was rose-pink with pearl-grey edges for civil awards, with the addition of a pearl-grey central stripe for military awards. From 1933, a silver laurel branch was added to the ribbon.
A complete list of EGM recipients can be viewed here.
The decision as to which division a recipient joined was based upon the events of the gallantry and not upon the recipient's occupation or rank.