Royal Red Cross - Class 2 (ARRC)

The Royal Red Cross (Second Class) ARRC is a military decoration awarded in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth for exceptional services in military nursing. This included those fully trained nurses or assistant nurses, probationer’s, or V.A.D’s. nursing members, who, belonging to one of the officially recognised nursing services, has shown special devotion and competency in the performance of nursing duties, over a continuous and long period, or who has performed some very exceptional act of bravery and devotion at her post of duty.

The second class Associate Royal Red Cross grade was added on 10th November, 1915 with bars to the first class RRC being introduced in 1917. Those who are awarded this medal can still gain the Royal Red Cross –Class 1 (RRC) when they are awarded a bar. Bars are awarded in both classes to those nurses who perform further acts of devotion or bravery.

Those awarded the 1st class RRRC are known as members whilst those awarded the 2nd class are known as associates. Bars were first introduced in the year 1931. Recipients can use the letters ‘ARRC’ after their names.


Materials:   The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issued 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 blue ribbon with crimson edges

Royal Red Cross ribbon

Suspender - Ring

Type – Military decoration

Eligibility – Members of the Military Nursing Service

Awarded for – exceptional services in military nursing

Established – 10th November 1915

Post nominals - Recipients of the Royal Red Cross are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "RRC" or "ARRC" for Members and Associates respectively

Naming – The badge is issued unnamed.

Bar / Clasp - A bar can be added to the medal and would be linked to the cross. This is made of red enamel. A rosette is worn on the ribbon in undress to denote a bar to the RRC.

Description – The badge for ARRC is in the shape of a silver cross, height 4mm, width 35mm , the obverse enamelled red, with broad silver edges around the enamel; a circular medallion (now bearing an effigy of the reigning monarch) at its centre. The reverse has a circular medallion bearing the Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch “EVII”, “GV”, “GVI”, “EIIR”, as well as the words "FAITH", "HOPE" and "CHARITY" inscribed on the upper limbs of the cross, with the year "1883" in the lower limb.

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


Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’


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