Instituted on 25th March 1916 (and backdated to 1914), the Military Medal was awarded personnel of the British Army and other services, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank. It was an award for gallantry and devotion to duty when under fire in battle on land on the recommendation of a Commander-in-Chief in the Field.
The Military Medal 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 MC and the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), which was also awarded to non-commissioned members of the Army.
Recipients of the Military Medal are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "MM".
As many as 115,000 Military Medals were awarded during the Great War 1914-18, along with over 5,000 first bars, 180 second bars and 1 third bar. A further 15,000 Military Medals were awarded during the Second World War.
In 1993 after a review of the gallantry awards system the Military Medal was discontinued. Since then the Military Cross has been awarded to personnel of all ranks.
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 – A dark blue ribbon, with five equal centre stripes of white, red, white, red, and white
Suspender - Ornate
Type – Gallantry medal
Eligibility – British and (formerly) Commonwealth forces
Awarded for – acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire
- Military Medal George V: 115,500 awarded
- Military Medal George VI: 15,000 awarded
Established – 25th March 1916
Post nominals - MM
Naming – Impressed Name, Rank and unit on the edge
Clasps – Silver, laurelled bars are authorised for subsequent awards.
Description – A circular silver medal of 36 mm diameter. The obverse bears the effigy of the reigning monarch with one of the following legends:
- “GEORGIVS BRITT.OMN:REX ET IND:IMP:”
- “GEORGIVS VI D: G: BR: OMN: REX ET INDIAE IMP:”
- “GEORGIVS VI DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF:”
- “ELIZABETH II D: G: BR: OMN: REGINA R: D:”
- “ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F.D”
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
Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’
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