How to Identify British Military Medals

Written by brendan pelsue
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In Britain, "Military Medal" refers to a military decoration issued by the British Army between 1916 and 1993 to non-commissioned officers who showed exceptional bravery in land battle. The Military Medal had equivalent value to the Military Cross, which was awarded to commissioned officers. Since the discontinuation of the Military Medal in 1993, all British soldiers have been awarded the Military Cross for acts of valour. Military Medals can be identified by attention to their size, shape and inscription.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Look at the shape of the medal. All British Military Medals are 36mm solid silver discs.

  2. 2

    Look at the ribbon on the medal. British Military Medal ribbons are solid rectangles joined to the medal by a silver bar--as opposed to many other, similar medals where the ribbon tapers and is joined to the medal by a ring. The fabric of the Military Medal ribbon is made up of two thick dark blue exterior stripes framing a series of red and white interior stripes.

  3. 3

    Look at the silver bar joining the ribbon to the medal. British Military Medal bars feature elaborate scrollwork.

  4. 4

    Look at the inscription on the medal. All British Military Medals bear the words "For Bravery In the Field," as well as a laurel wreath. On the opposite side of the medal from this inscription there is an image of the reigning monarch at the time the medal was issued.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure to identify every part of the medal. Medals with similar ribbons or inscriptions may not be British Military Medals.

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