Burma Gallantry Medal (BGM)

Established by Royal warrant in 1940 the Burma Gallantry Medal (BGM) was a military decoration awarded by the Governor to non-commissioned Officers and other ranks of the Burma Army, British Burma military, Frontier Force, Burma RNVR, Burma AAF and military police for acts of personal bravery in war or peace. By an amendment of 1945 subsequent awards were restricted to NCOs and men. The first awards were Gazetted on 26th March 1942.

The Burma Gallantry Medal (BGM) became obsolete in 1947 when Burma became an independent republic and left the Commonwealth, the last medal was awarded on 28th November 1947.


Materials:   The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issue in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants.  The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.

Ribbons:    Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed.  Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.

Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.

Ribbon – Dark green with broad crimson stripe in the centre

Ribbon of the Burma Gallantry Medal
Ribbon of the Burma Gallantry Medal

Suspender – Ornate

Type – Gallantry decoration

Eligibility – Non-Commissioned Officers and other ranks of the Burma Army, the Burma Frontier Force, the Burma Military Police, the Burma Volunteer Air Force and Petty Officers and ratings of the Burma Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.

Awarded for – Acts of conspicuous gallantry performed in connection with assigned duties

Established – 1940

Post Nominals - Recipients of the Burma Gallantry Medal are entitled to use the post-nominal letters BGM

Total awarded – 200+

Bars / Clasps - Bars were authorised for subsequent awards

Description – Silver circular medal 36mm diameter – The medal obverse bears the reigning sovereign’s effigy, while the reverse bears a laurel wreath and the inscription ‘BURMA’ and ‘FOR GALLANTRY’

This guide will help you through all the parts and descriptions of military medals



< gov.uk/medals-campaigns-descriptions-and-eligibility>

Some of the material on this page was also partially derived from

<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Burma_Gallantry_Medal >

Which are released under the terms of


Medal Year Book 2006


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