A member of the armed forces 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 his or her gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy is described.
In some countries, a service member's name must be mentioned in dispatches as a condition for receiving certain decorations.
Service men and women of the British Empire or the Commonwealth who are mentioned in despatches (MiD) are not awarded a medal for their action, but receive a certificate and wear an oak leaf device on the ribbon of the appropriate campaign medal. A smaller version of the oak leaf device is attached to the ribbon when worn alone. Prior to 2014 only one device could be worn on a ribbon, irrespective of the number of times the recipient was mentioned in despatches. Where no campaign medal is awarded, the oak leaf is worn directly on the coat after any medal ribbons. In the British Armed Forces, the despatch is published in the London Gazette.
Before 1914 nothing was worn in uniform to signify a mention in despatches, although sometimes a gallantry medal was also awarded.
For 1914–1918 and up to 10 August 1920, the device consisted of a spray of oak leaves in bronze worn on the ribbon of the Victory Medal. Those who did not receive the Victory Medal wore the device on the British War Medal. Established in 1919, it was retrospective to August 1914. It was not a common honour with, for example, only twenty-five members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in the First World War mentioned in despatches. In all, 141,082 mentions were recorded in the London Gazette between 1914 and 1920.
From 1920 to 1993, the device consisted of a single bronze oak leaf, worn on the ribbon of the appropriate campaign medal, including the War Medal for a mention during the Second World War. The Canadian Armed Forces still use the bronze oak leaf device.
Since 1993 a number of changes have been made in respect of United Kingdom armed forces:
For awards made from September 1993, the oak leaf has been in silver. The criteria were also made more specific, it now being defined as an operational gallantry award for acts of bravery during active operations.
In a change introduced in 2014, up to three MiD devices may be worn on a single campaign medal and ribbon bar for those with multiple mentions, backdated to 1962. Prior to this change, even if the serviceman was mentioned in despatches more than once, only a single such device was worn.
Prior to 1979, a mention in despatches was one of three awards that could be made posthumously, the others being the Victoria Cross and George Cross. The 1979 reform allowed all gallantry decorations to be awarded posthumously.
Soldiers can be mentioned multiple times. The British First World War Victoria Cross recipient John Vereker, later Field Marshal Viscount Gort, was mentioned in despatches nine times, as was the Canadian general Sir Arthur Currie. The Australian general Gordon Bennett was mentioned in despatches a total of eight times during the First World War, as was Field Marshal Sir John Dill.
Below are illustrations of the MiD device being worn on a variety of campaign medal ribbons:
|Victory Medal||First World War|
|Naval General Service Medal||Campaign Service|
|Army & RAF
General Service Medal
|War Medal 1939–1945||Second World War|
|Korea Medal||Korean War|
|General Service Medal||Campaign Service|
|Vietnam Medal||Vietnam War|
|Gulf Medal||Gulf War|
|Silver oak leaf device||Awards since 1993|
Australian service personnel are no longer eligible to be mentioned in dispatches. Since 15 January 1991, when the Australian Honours System was established, the MiD has been replaced by the Australian decorations: the Commendation for Gallantry and the Commendation for Distinguished Service. Similarly, the equivalents of the MiD for acts of bravery by civilians and by soldiers not engaged with the enemy have also been reformed. The reformed and comprehensive system is now as follows:
|Commendation for Gallantry|
|Commendation for Brave Conduct|
|Commendation for Distinguished Service|
A mention in dispatches – in French, Citation à l'ordre du jour – gives recognition from a senior commander for acts of brave or meritorious service, normally in the field. The Mention in dispatches is among the list of awards presented by the Governor General of Canada.
Mention in dispatches has been used since 1947, in order to recognize distinguished and meritorious service in operational areas and acts of gallantry which are not of a sufficiently high order to warrant the grant of gallantry awards.
Eligible personnel include all Army, Navy and Air Force personnel including personnel of the Reserve Forces, Territorial Army, Militia and other lawfully constituted armed forces, members of the Nursing Service and civilians working under or with the armed forces.
Personnel can be mentioned in dispatches posthumously and multiple awards are also possible. A recipient of a mention in a dispatch is entitled to wear an emblem, in the form of a lotus leaf on the ribbon of the relevant campaign medal. They are also issued with an official certificate from the Ministry of Defence.
Under the current Pakistani military honours system, the Imtiazi Sanad is conferred upon any member of the Pakistani Armed Forces who is mentioned in dispatches for an act of gallantry that does not qualify for a formal gallantry award.
In 1920 the Minister of Defence of the Union of South Africa was empowered to award a multiple-leaved bronze oak leaf emblem to all servicemen and servicewomen mentioned in dispatches during the First World War for valuable services in action. The emblem, which was regarded as a decoration, was worn on the ribbon of the Victory Medal (Union of South Africa). Only one emblem was worn, irrespective of the number of times a recipient had been mentioned.
The Afrikaans rendition of mentioned in dispatches is Eervolle Vermelding in Berigte.
In 1943, the Union Defence Force confirmed the availability of the British award, the bronze oak leaf, for acts of bravery, in contact with the enemy, which fell just short of the standard required for the granting of a decoration, or for valuable services not necessarily in immediate contact with the enemy.
The mention in dispatches (MiD) was one of only four awards which could be made posthumously. The others were the Victoria Cross, the George Cross, and the King's Commendation (South Africa). The oak leaf emblem was worn on the ribbon of the War Medal 1939–1945.
The King's Commendation (South Africa) (1939–45) was denoted by a bronze King Protea flower emblem worn on the ribbon of the Africa Service Medal, for valuable services in connection with the Second World War. It could be awarded posthumously and was the equivalent of a mention in dispatches for services rendered away from the battlefield.
The MiD and the King's Commendation (SA) were the only decorations that could be approved by the South African Minister of Defence without reference to the King.
Since the French Revolution, France has had the custom of declaring deserving citizens or groups to have bien mérité de la Patrie ("well deserved the recognition of the Fatherland"). This sentiment is continued to this day in the formulation of the citations that accompany medals.
In the French military, mentions in dispatches – or more accurately, mention in orders (citation dans les ordres) – are made by senior commanders, from the level of a Regimental commanding officer to the Commander-in-Chief, in the orders they give to their unit, recognizing the gallantry of an action performed some time before. There are two kinds of mentions : mentions with cross, for bravery in presence of the enemy, and mentions without cross, for bravery not in presence of the enemy.
The citations are given for acts of gallantry by any member of the French military or its allies and are, depending on the degree, roughly the equivalent of the US Bronze Star Medal or Silver Star and the UK Mention in Dispatches or Military Cross and, formerly, the Military Medal.
Mentions made during the two World Wars or colonial conflicts were accompanied with awards of a Croix de guerre or a Croix de la Valeur Militaire, with attachments on the ribbon depending on the mention's degree : the lowest degree is represented by a bronze star while the highest degree is represented by a bronze palm.
A unit can also be mentioned in dispatches. The unit standard is then decorated with the corresponding Croix. After two mentions, the men of the unit are entitled to wear a fourragère.
|First World War||Colonial Wars 1920–1926||Second World War||Indochina, Madagascar, Korea, Suez Crisis, Gulf and Kosovo||Tunisia, Algeria, every military operation where TOE Cross is not awarded|
1914–1918 War Cross
TOE War Cross
1939–1945 War Cross
TOE War Cross
Cross for Military Valour
Since 2004, mentions for bravery not involving actual combat with the enemy are awarded with a gold Médaille de la Défense nationale and the same attachments as the Croix de guerre. Before 2004, these mentions were recorded in the service member record, but not recognized with any decoration.
Alfred Eteson CB (29 April 1832 – 15 February 1910) was deputy surgeon general with the Bengal Medical Service. He served during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and the Second Anglo-Afghan War and was mentioned in dispatches three times.Arthur Best
Arthur Best (18 October 1888 – 17 June 1960) was an Australian rules footballer who played for the St Kilda Football Club and Melbourne Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL). His father was Sir Robert Best, a prominent politician who served in the Victorian Legislative Assembly and Parliament of Australia.
In September 1914, Best enlisted in the AIF to fight in World War I. He had been working as a salesman prior to enlistment. A member of the 58th Battalion, Best worked his way up from the rank of private to captain. In 1918, he was twice mentioned in dispatches. Best returned safely to Australia in July 1919.Arthur Blair-White
Arthur Blair White (3 July 1891 in County Dublin – 29 April 1975 in County Donegal) third child of Richard Blair White of Dublin and Emily Maud Nichols of New Zealand educated at Rugby School and Trinity College Dublin fought in the first World War—Croix de Guerre, Military order of the British Empire, mentioned in dispatches married Rosetta Phoebe Newell in 1919 who played tennis for Ireland—was an Irish cricketer. A right-handed batsman and occasional wicket-keeper, he played just once for Ireland, a first-class match against Scotland in July 1913.Clive Garthwaite
Clive Charlton Garthwaite (22 October 1909 – 20 January 1979) CBE was an English first-class cricketer and British Army officer. He played one first-class game for the British Army cricket team in 1930. Garthwaite served in North Africa during the Second World War and was mentioned in dispatches in March 1945. He continued to be active in cricket, captaining the Army and Combined Services cricket teams into the 1950s. He retired as a Brigadier in 1963.Des Voeux baronets
The Des Voeux Baronetcy, of Indiaville in the Queen's County, was a title in the Baronetage of Ireland. It was created on 1 September 1787 for Sir Charles des Voeux, 1st Baronet, who had gained great wealth in India and who later represented Carlow Borough and Carlingford in the Irish House of Commons. He was the son of Anthony Vinchon de Bacquencourt, who had assumed the surname of Des Voeux. The latter was born in France but had settled in Ireland after incurring the wrath of his family for having abandoned the Roman Catholic faith. He was a writer of polemical works. The title became extinct when the ninth Baronet (a lieutenant colonel, twice mentioned in dispatches) was killed in action in the Battle of Arnhem .Dirom Grey Crawford
Dirom Grey Crawford (21 July 1857 – 9 December 1942) was a British physician and officer of the Indian Medical Service (IMS). He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring in 1911 and returning to serve on hospital ships during the First World War when he was mentioned in dispatches. He wrote a history of the IMS as well as the roll of its members which included biographical details of 6,156 of its officers.Frank Mann (cricketer)
Francis Thomas "Frank" Mann (3 March 1888 – 6 October 1964) was an English cricketer. He played for the Malvern XI, Cambridge University, Middlesex and England. Mann captained England on the 1922–23 tour of South Africa, winning the five match series 2–1.
Mann was born in Winchmore Hill, Middlesex. During World War I he was an officer of the Scots Guards and was three times wounded and three times mentioned in dispatches. He died, aged 76, in Milton Lilbourne, Wiltshire.
His son, George Mann, also captained Middlesex County Cricket Club and England, making them the first father and son to have each captained Middlesex and, moreover, the first to have each captained England, at cricket. Simon Mann, the security expert and mercenary, is his grandson.General Service Medal (South Africa)
The General Service Medal is a military campaign medal which was instituted by the Republic of South Africa in 1987. It could be awarded to members of the South African Defence Force from 1 January 1983, for operational service inside South Africa in the prevention or suppression of terrorism or internal disorder, or the preservation of life, health or property, or the maintenance of essential services and law and order, or crime prevention.In 2002, the Maluti Clasp was authorised for personnel who participated in Operations Boleas and Maluti.George Lawson (Australian politician)
George Lawson (14 August 1880 – 25 November 1966) was an Australian trade union official and politician.
Lawson was born in South Pine River, near Caboolture, Queensland, and educated at Warner State School. He fought in the Boer War in South Africa with the 5th (Queensland Imperial Bushmen) Contingent in 1901–02 and was mentioned in dispatches. He married Rebecca Jane Buchanan in 1907 and they had two sons but she died in 1918. In 1907, he helped found the Brisbane Trolleymen, Draymen and Carter's Union and was elected its secretary in 1908. The union later became the Carters and Drivers' Union and in 1912 he was elected its general secretary, a position he held for almost twenty years. He was president of the Trades and Labour Council of Queensland in 1924 and 1927. At the time of his election to the House of Representatives, he was secretary of the Road Transport Workers' Union.Jean Théveney
General Jean Baptiste Philippe Théveney (in some works spelt "Théveny") (5 November 1866 – 7 January 1960) was a French army officer. His father was a cavalry officer and Théveney was educated at the Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Infanterie before being commissioned as an infantry officer. He served in a number of staff and regimental appointments in France before joining the 1st Foreign Regiment of the French Foreign Legion and seeing active service in Algeria. Théveney followed the regiment to Morocco where it was involved in the Zaian War against the Berbers.
Théveney spent much of his military career in Morocco, fighting in many battles and being mentioned in dispatches several times. He served briefly against the German Army on the Western Front before returning to Morocco within a year. He led the operation that brought to an end the Zaian War in 1921 and remained in Morocco, participating in the Rif War in 1926. Théveney was a grand-officer of the Legion of Honour and holder of the Croix de Guerre and the Spanish Moroccan Peace Medal.Julian Holbrook
Brigadier Julian St. Clair Holbrook (7 August 1897 – 1980) was a British Army officer.
Holbrook was commissioned into the Royal Artillery on 21 April 1915, having attended the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He saw service in the First World War, during which he awarded the Military Cross. He saw further active service in the Waziristan campaign (1919–20), during which he was mentioned in dispatches. He was Assistant Embassy Staff Officer, India in 1920. Between 1921 and 1931 he was with the No. 1 Special Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, before moving to the 11th Field Brigade. He was promoted to Major on 15 November 1935.
At the start of the Second World War Holbrook was Instructor in Gunnery, Home Forces. He was the Commanding Officer of the 73rd Anti Tank Regiment Royal Artillery during the North African Campaign between 1942 and 1943. He commanded the 6th Army Group Royal Artillery during the Allied invasion of Sicily and subsequently in mainland Italy. He was promoted to Acting Brigadier on 5 April 1943 and to Temporary Brigadier on 5 October 1943. He was Mentioned in Dispatches for a second time on 24 August 1944 and in December 1944 he was invested as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. At the end of the war he was Corps Commander Royal Artillery III Corps. Between April 1949 and December 1951 Holbrook served as Aide-de-Camp to George VI, after which he retired.Korea Medal (South Africa)
The Korea Medal is a military campaign medal which was instituted by the Union of South Africa in 1953. It was awarded to volunteers of the Union Defence Forces for service in Korea during the 1950-1953 Korean War.Lisle Marsden
(Edwin) Lisle Marsden, M.A. (Lambeth) (20 September 1886 - 21 June 1960) was Archdeacon of Lindsey from 1948 until his death.Marsen was educated at The King's School, Chester after which he a clerk with the National Provincial Bank. He was ordained Deacon in 1912, and Priest in 1913. After a curacy in Spalding he was a Chaplain to the British Armed Forces from 1917 to 1919 during which time he was mentioned in dispatches. He was Vicar of Pinchbeck from 1918 to 1921; Aspull from 1921 to 1928. He became the incumbent at St Michael and All Angels, Wigan in 1928; and of Great Grimsby in 1951. He was Proctor in Convocation from 1942 to 1948, and again from1951 until his death.Niwat Srisawat
Niwat Srisawat (Thai นิวัฒน์ ศรีสวัสดิ์) or his nickname "Tong" (born August 19, 1947 in Phitsanulok) is a Famous Thai - Vietnamese football player and former player in Thailand national team since 1967-1979. He was the Striker who is the all-time top goalscorer of the national team with his 55 goals.
Niwat retired from Thailand national team on December 2, 1976 after he played the match against South Korea which Thailand win 1-0 in King's Cup. From the past to the present, Niwat was mentioned in dispatches as the legend striker of Thailand national football team.Pro Patria Medal (South Africa)
The Pro Patria Medal is a South African military campaign medal which was instituted by the Republic in 1974. It was awarded to members of the South African Defence Force for service in an operational area, as designated by the Minister of Defence.Robert Pilot
Robert Wakeham Pilot (1898–1967) was a Canadian artist, who worked mainly in oil on canvas or on panel, and as an etcher and muralist.Pilot was born on 9 October 1898, at St. John's, Newfoundland, to Edward Frederick Pilot and his wife Barbara (née Merchant). In 1910, his widowed mother married the artist, Maurice Cullen, moving into Cullen's home in Montreal. As a child, Pilot assisted Cullen in his studio, and the two would take sketching trips together. He later studied in Montreal under William Brymner, then, in March 1916, joined the army. He served as a gunner on trench mortars in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Fifth Division Artillery, during World War I. From 1920 to 1922, he studied at the Académie Julian in Paris. In 1922, he exhibited at the Paris Salon. His work took on Impressionist influences after he visited the artists' colony at Concarneau.On returning to Canada, he was elected as an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1925, serving as the Adcademy's president from 1952 to 1954.His first solo show was in 1927, at the Watson Art Galleries. He won the Jessie Dow Prize in that year and in 1934.He re-enlisted in 1941, during World War II, serving as a Captain in The Black Watch, and was mentioned in dispatches while in Italy, which resulted in him being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1944. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal in 1953.Paintings by Pilot were presented to Winston Churchill and to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. Others are in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.Pilot died at Montreal General Hospital on 17 December 1967, and was survived by his wife Patricia (née Dawes) and son, Wakeham. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1969.Siege of Tortosa (1810–11)
The Siege of Tortosa (16 December 1810 – 2 January 1811) pitted an Imperial French army under General Louis Gabriel Suchet against the Spanish defenders of Tortosa led by General Lilli, Conde de Alacha. The siege progressed swiftly and Alacha surrendered on 2 January 1811. Tortosa is a city that lies on the Ebro River about 80 kilometres (50 mi) southwest of Tarragona. The action took place during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars.
Colonel Rouelle was employed at the siege of Tortosa, where he defeated two sorties by the besieged on the December 24 and December 28, 1810. These two feats were mentioned in dispatches.Southern Africa Medal
The Southern Africa Medal is a military campaign medal which was instituted by the Republic of South Africa in 1987. It was awarded to members of the South African Defence Force for service in military operations in Southern Africa, outside the borders of South Africa and South West Africa, between 1 April 1976 and 21 March 1990.Tshumelo Ikatelaho
The Tshumelo Ikatelaho - General Service Medal was instituted by the President of the Republic of South Africa on 16 April 2003 and came into effect on 27 April 2003. It can be awarded to all ranks who have participated in military campaigns or operations which, while not warranting the institution of particular campaign medals, still justify the award of a medal for general service.