The Military Cross (MC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and (since 1993) other ranks of the British Armed Forces, and formerly awarded to officers of other Commonwealth countries.
The MC is granted in recognition of "an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land" to all members of the British Armed Forces of any rank. In 1979, the Queen approved a proposal that a number of awards, including the Military Cross, could be recommended posthumously.
|Awarded by United Kingdom and Commonwealth|
|Eligibility||British, (and formerly) Commonwealth and allied forces|
|Awarded for||... gallantry during active operations against the enemy.|
|Description||Obverse: Straight armed silver cross, Royal Cypher in centre|
|Established||28 December 1914|
|First awarded||1 January 1915 to 98 officers and warrant officers.|
|Total awarded||Including further awards:|
George V: c. 43,500
George VI: over 11,500
Elizabeth II: c. 750
|Order of Wear|
|Next (higher)||Conspicuous Gallantry Cross|
|Next (lower)||Distinguished Flying Cross|
Military Cross ribbon:
without bar, and with one and two bars
The award was created on 28 December 1914 for commissioned officers of the substantive rank of Captain or below and for Warrant Officers. The first 98 awards were gazetted on 1 January 1915, to 71 officers including one jamadar and three subadars, and 27 warrant officers. Although posthumous recommendations for the Military Cross would be unavailable until 1979, the first awards included seven posthumous awards, with the word ‘deceased’ after the name of the recipient, from recommendations that had been raised before the recipients died of wounds or lost their lives from other causes.
Awards are announced in the London Gazette, apart from most honorary awards to allied forces in keeping with the usual practice not to gazette awards to foreigners.
From August 1916, recipients of the Cross were entitled to use the post-nominal letters MC, and bars could be awarded for further acts of gallantry meriting the award, with a silver rosette worn on the ribbon when worn alone to denote the award of each bar.
From September 1916, members of the Royal Naval Division, who served alongside the army on the Western Front, were made eligible for military decorations, including the Military Cross, for the war's duration. Naval officers serving with the division received 140 MCs and eight second award bars.
After the Second World War, most Commonwealth countries created their own honours system and no longer recommended British awards. The last Military Cross awards for the Canadian Army were for Korea. The last four Australian Army Military Cross awards were promulgated in the London Gazette on 1 September 1972 for Vietnam as was the last New Zealand Army Military Cross award, which was promulgated on 25 September 1970. Canada, Australia and New Zealand have now created their own gallantry awards under their own honours systems.
Since the 1993 review of the honours system, as part of the drive to remove distinctions of rank in awards for bravery, the Military Medal, formerly the third-level decoration for other ranks, has been discontinued. The MC now serves as the third-level award for all ranks of the British Armed Forces for gallantry on land, not to the standard required to receive the Victoria Cross or the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.
The Military Cross has the following design:
Since 1914 over 52,000 Military Crosses and 3,717 bars have been awarded. The dates below reflect the relevant London Gazette entries:
|Period||Medals||1st bar||2nd bar||3rd bar||Honorary
|World War I||1914–20||37,104||2,984||169||4||2,909||–|
|World War II||1939–46||10,386||482||24||–||438||3|
The above table includes awards to the Dominions:
In all, 3,727 Military Crosses have been awarded to those serving with Canadian forces, including 324 first bars and 18 second bars.
A total of 2,930 were awarded to Australians, in addition to 188 first bars and four second bars. Of these, 2,403 MCs, 170 first Bars and four second Bars were for World War I.
Over 500 MCs were awarded to New Zealanders during World War I and over 250 in World War II. The most recent awards were for service in Vietnam.
The honorary MC awards were made to servicemen from fifteen Allied countries in World War I, and nine in World War II.
Alun Arthur Gwynne Jones, Baron Chalfont, (born 5 December 1919) is a British politician, retired British Army officer and historian.Basil Rathbone
Philip St. John Basil Rathbone MC (13 June 1892 – 21 July 1967) was an English actor. He rose to prominence in the United Kingdom as a Shakespearean stage actor and went on to appear in more than 70 films, primarily costume dramas, swashbucklers and, occasionally, horror films.
Rathbone frequently portrayed suave villains or morally ambiguous characters, such as Mr. Murdstone in David Copperfield (1935) and Sir Guy of Gisbourne in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). His most famous role, however, was heroic—that of Sherlock Holmes in fourteen Hollywood films made between 1939 and 1946 and in a radio series. His later career included roles on Broadway, as well as self-ironic film and television work. He received a Tony Award in 1948 as Best Actor in a Play. He was also nominated for two Academy Awards and was honored with three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.Christopher Hibbert
Christopher Hibbert (born Arthur Raymond Hibbert) MC (5 March 1924 – 21 December 2008), was an English author, historian and biographer. He has been called "a pearl of biographers" (New Statesman) and "probably the most widely-read popular historian of our time and undoubtedly one of the most prolific" (The Times). Hibbert was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of many books, including The Story of England, Disraeli, Edward VII, George IV, The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici, and Cavaliers and Roundheads.Eric Marshall
Lieutenant Colonel Eric Stewart Marshall (29 May, 1879 - 26 February, 1963) was a British Antarctic explorer with the Nimrod Expedition led by Ernest Shackleton in 1907–09, and was one of the party of four men (Marshall, Shackleton, Jameson Adams and Frank Wild) who reached Furthest South at 88°23′S 162°00′E on 9 January 1909.Ewart Horsfall
Ewart Douglas Horsfall DFC, MC (24 May 1892 – 1 February 1974) was a British rower who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics and in the 1920 Summer Olympics.
Horsfall was born in Liverpool, the son of Howard Douglas Horsfall and was educated at Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford. He arrived at Oxford with an outstanding reputation as a rower and in 1912 was in the winning Oxford boat in the Boat Race. He joined Leander Club and was a member of the Leander eight which won the gold medal for Great Britain rowing at the 1912 Summer Olympics. At the age of 20, he was the youngest member of the crew.Horsfall stroked Oxford in the Boat Race in 1913 and became the first stroke to win the Boat Race after being behind at Barnes Railway Bridge. However Oxford lost in 1914, when Horsfall rowed at number four. He won the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta four times – three times as a stroke – and he twice stroked the winning crew in the Stewards' Challenge Cup at Henley on the two occasions when he competed.
At the outbreak of the First World War, Horsfall joined the Rifle Brigade but later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps; He qualified as a pilot on 31 December 1914, and reached the rank of squadron leader. He achieved a rare double of being awarded the Military Cross in 1916 and the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1918.
After the war, he returned to Oxford to help re-establish rowing at the University. He was strokeman of the Leander eight which won the silver medal for Great Britain rowing at the 1920 Summer Olympics, coming within half a length of winning. In 1947 Horsfall was elected a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta and the following year he was manager of the British Olympic Rowing team.
Horsfall married Myra Downing Fullerton, daughter of Frederick Downing Fullerton in 1923. They had three children, Robin, Geoffrey and Anne.G. B. Buckley
George Bent Buckley (1885 – 26 April 1962) was an English surgeon and a celebrated cricket historian and an authority on the early days of the game.
Buckley was born in Saddleworth, Yorkshire the son of Arthur and Jane Buckley, his father was a solicitor. A surgeon by profession, he won the Military Cross in 1916 for working under fire when he was serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps in the First World War. He was a senior surgeon at Manchester Royal Infirmary and member of the Manchester Medical Society. Photographs of him as a surgeon and soldier (prisoner of war) are held in the University of Manchester Library Image Collections. After he retired, he devoted his time to researching early cricket history and travelled all over England to visit local libraries. He collected a mass of cricket historiana from old newspapers and dutifully noted every reference he could find relating to 18th century cricket. His researches were consolidated in his two classic books: Fresh Light on Eighteenth Century Cricket (1935) and Fresh Light on Pre-Victorian Cricket (1937).
He moved to Weston-super-Mare in 1938 and lived in a pleasant Victorian house just a stone's throw from the local cricket ground.
John Arlott states in the 1980 version of Barclay's World of Cricket that Mr Buckley's researches were continued in volumes of photo-reproduced typescript and manuscript, produced under the aegis of Rowland Bowen in 1960. It is probable that even more notes by Buckley still exist unpublished.Harry Altham
Harry Surtees Altham (30 November 1888 – 11 March 1965) was an English cricketer who became an important figure in the game as an administrator, historian and coach. His Wisden obituary described him as "among the best known personalities in the world of cricket". He died of a heart attack just after he had given an address to a cricket society.
Altham was educated at Repton School and Trinity College, Oxford, and served in the British Army during World War I as a Major with the 60th Rifles. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the Military Cross (MC), and was mentioned in despatches on three occasions. He was a schoolmaster and a cricket coach at Winchester College, a position that he held for thirty years, and was also the housemaster of Chernocke House.
Altham's son, Richard, played in two first-class matches for Oxford University in 1947-1948.I. S. O. Playfair
Major-General Ian Stanley Ord Playfair (10 April 1894 – 21 March 1972) was a British Army officer.Inderjit Singh Gill
Lieutenant General Inderjit Singh Gill, PVSM, MC (16 January 1922 – 30 May 2001) was an Indian Army general. He was the officiating Director of Military Operations (DMO) of the Indian Army during the Bangladesh Liberation War. He retired in 1979 after serving as the Western Army Commander.Jioji Konrote
Jioji Konousi "George" Konrote, OF, MC (born 26 December 1947) is a Fijian politician and retired Major-General of the Fiji Military who has been President of Fiji since 2015. After commanding a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, Konrote served as Fiji's High Commissioner to Australia from 2001 to 2006, as Minister of State for Immigration briefly in 2006, and as Minister for Employment Opportunities, Productivity and Industrial Relations from 2014 to 2015. He is the first non-iTaukei president and the first Seventh-day Adventist to be elected by parliament, as previous presidents were selected by the Great Council of Chiefs.Leslie Wormald
Leslie Graham Wormald (19 August 1890 – 10 July 1965) was an English rower who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics representing Great Britain.
Wormald was born at Maidenhead. He was educated at Eton College where he only rowed in the second eight and then at Magdalen College, Oxford, where his rowing showed considerable improvement. In 1910 he was in the Magdalen boat which finished the Head of the River and which won the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta. In 1911 he was in the winning Oxford crew in the Boat Race and in the Magdalen boat which won the Grand at Henley again. In 1912 he was in the winning Oxford crew in the Boat Race again. He joined Leander Club and was a member of the Leander eight which won the gold medal for Great Britain rowing at the 1912 Summer Olympics. In 1913, Wormald was in the winning Oxford crew in the Boat Race for the third time.
Wormald served in the First World War and won a Military Cross while in France in 1918.
Wormald retired to Spain and died at the Hyde Park Hotel in London (today called the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London) on a visit to England.Michael Jeffery
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The Military Medal (MM) was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other arms of the armed forces, and to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land. The award was established in 1916, with retrospective application to 1914, and was awarded to other ranks for "acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire". The award was discontinued in 1993 when it was replaced by the Military Cross, which was extended to all ranks, while other Commonwealth nations instituted their own award systems in the post war period.Percival Molson
Captain Percival Talbot "Percy" Molson, MC (August 14, 1880 – July 5, 1917) was a Canadian star athlete and soldier. After an outstanding sports career with McGill University, Molson joined its administration. Molson died fighting in World War I. In his will, he donated funds for McGill to build its football stadium, named Percival Molson Memorial Stadium in his honour.Peter Cosgrove
General Sir Peter John Cosgrove, (born 28 July 1947) is a retired senior Australian Army officer who served as the 26th Governor-General of Australia, in office from 2014 to 2019.
A graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Cosgrove fought in the Vietnam War, receiving the Military Cross in 1971. From 1983 to 1984, he was commander of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and he later served as commander of the 6th Brigade and the 1st Division. Cosgrove rose to prominence in 1999, when he served as commander of the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET), which oversaw the peacekeeping mission in East Timor during its transition to independence.
Cosgrove was Australia's Chief of Army from 2000 to 2002, and then Chief of the Defence Force from 2002 to 2005, receiving corresponding promotions to lieutenant general and general. Cosgrove retired from active service following the end of his term as Chief of the Defence Force, and subsequently served as leader of a taskforce helping to rebuild communities in Queensland after Cyclone Larry in 2006. In January 2014, Cosgrove was named to succeed Dame Quentin Bryce as Governor-General of Australia. He was sworn in on 28 March 2014, and made a Knight of the Order of Australia on the same date. Cosgrove retired as governor-general on 1 July 2019, and was succeeded by General David Hurley.Robert Maxwell
Ian Robert Maxwell (10 June 1923 – 5 November 1991), born Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch, was a British media proprietor and Member of Parliament (MP). Originally from Czechoslovakia, Maxwell rose from poverty to build an extensive publishing empire. After his death, huge discrepancies in his companies' finances were revealed, including his fraudulent misappropriation of the Mirror Group pension fund.Early in his life, Maxwell escaped from Nazi occupation, joined the Czechoslovak Army in exile in World War II and was decorated after active service in the British Army. In subsequent years he worked in publishing, building up Pergamon Press to a major publishing house. After six years as an MP during the 1960s, he again put all his energy into business, successively buying the British Printing Corporation, Mirror Group Newspapers and Macmillan Publishers, among other publishing companies.
Maxwell had a flamboyant lifestyle, living in Headington Hill Hall in Oxford, from which he often flew in his helicopter, and sailing in his luxury yacht, the Lady Ghislaine. He was litigious and often embroiled in controversy, including about his support for Israel at the time of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1989, he had to sell successful businesses, including Pergamon Press, to cover some of his debts. In 1991, his body was discovered floating in the Atlantic Ocean, having fallen overboard from his yacht. He was buried in Jerusalem.
Maxwell's death triggered the collapse of his publishing empire as banks called in loans. His sons briefly attempted to keep the business together, but failed as the news emerged that the elder Maxwell had stolen hundreds of millions of pounds from his own companies' pension funds. The Maxwell companies applied for bankruptcy protection in 1992.Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967) was an English poet, writer, and soldier. Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the leading poets of the First World War. His poetry both described the horrors of the trenches and satirised the patriotic pretensions of those who, in Sassoon's view, were responsible for a jingoism-fuelled war. Sassoon became a focal point for dissent within the armed forces when he made a lone protest against the continuation of the war in his "Soldier's Declaration" of 1917, culminating in his admission to a military psychiatric hospital; this resulted in his forming a friendship with Wilfred Owen, who was greatly influenced by him. Sassoon later won acclaim for his prose work, notably his three-volume fictionalised autobiography, collectively known as the "Sherston trilogy".World Military Cross Country Championships
The World Military Cross Country Championships is an international biennial cross country running competition organised by the International Military Sports Council (CISM). The competition is typically held in late February or early March. First held in 1947, it was typically held on an annually basis, but since 2004 it has been held roughly every two years.The championships has three races: the men's long race (roughly 12 km), the men's short race (roughly 5 km), and the women's race (roughly 5 km). The competition attracts elite level long-distance runners who are members of their national military, with past winners including two-time world champion Saif Saaeed Shaheen, the 2008 Olympic champion Nancy Jebet Langat, and New York Marathon winner Jeļena Prokopčuka.Ypres
Ypres ( EE-prə; French: [ipʁ]; Dutch: Ieper [ˈipər]) is a Belgian municipality in the province of West Flanders. Though the Dutch Ieper is the official name, the city's French name Ypres is most commonly used in English. The municipality comprises the city of Ypres and the villages of Boezinge, Brielen, Dikkebus, Elverdinge, Hollebeke, Sint-Jan, Vlamertinge, Voormezele, Zillebeke, and Zuidschote. Together, they are home to about 34,900 inhabitants.
During the First World War, Ypres (or "Wipers" as it was commonly known by the British troops) was the centre of the Battles of Ypres between German and Allied forces.
|Orders of chivalry|
Sorted in order of wear per era or 1994 constituent force
until 6 April 1952