A soldier mentioned in dispatches (or despatches) (MID) is one whose name appears in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which is described the soldier's gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy.
In a number of countries, a soldier's name must be mentioned in dispatches as a condition for receiving certain decorations.
In the British Armed Forces, the despatch is published in the London Gazette.
Soldiers of the British Empire or the Commonwealth of Nations who are mentioned in dispatches but do not receive a medal for their action, are nonetheless entitled to receive a certificate and wear a decoration. For 1914-1918 and up to 10th August 1920, the decoration consisted of a spray of oak leaves in bronze.
This decoration was only established in 1919, but it had retroactive effect. From 1920 to 1993, the decoration consisted of a single bronze oak leaf, and in the Canadian Forces still does. Even if the soldier is mentioned in dispatches more than once, only a single such decoration is worn. In Britain, since 1993, the decoration is a single silver oak leaf. In each case the decoration is pinned or sewn diagonally on to the appropriate campaign medal ribbon. If no campaign medal is awarded, the oak leaf is worn on the left breast of the dress uniform.
Hundreds of thousands of individual stories are behind the names of men and women mentioned in despatches – including veterinary corps, medical corps, chaplains, as well as frontline soldiers.
Soldiers can be mentioned multiple times. The British First World War Victoria Cross recipient John Vereker, later Field Marshal Viscount Gort, was mentioned in dispatches nine times, as was the Canadian general Sir Arthur Currie.
The Australian general H.G. Bennett was mentioned in dispatches a total of eight times during the First World War, as was John Dill.
Eligibility – Soldiers of the British Empire or the Commonwealth of Nations
Awarded for – Gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy.
Established – 1919
Post Nominals - None
Description – A Mention in Despatches was instituted during the Great War and continued to be awarded for active service up to August 10th, 1920. It was worn on the ribbon of the Victory Medal unless the victory Medal had not been issued in which case it was worn on the ribbon of the British War Medal and consisted of a Bronze spray of oak leaves. In August 1920, the emblem was altered to a single bronze oak-leave emblem, worn on the ribbon of the appropriate campaign medal, and in 1993 the emblem was changed from bronze to silver.
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