Queen's Gallantry Medal

The Queen's Gallantry Medal (QGM) is a United Kingdom decoration awarded for exemplary acts of bravery by civilians, and by members of the Armed Forces "not in the face of the enemy", where the services were not so outstanding as to merit the George Cross or the George Medal, but above the level required for the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.

Queen's Gallantry Medal
Queen's Gallantry Medal, obverse
Queen's Gallantry Medal (UK) Reverse
Obverse and reverse of the medal
Awarded by United Kingdom
TypeBravery decoration.
EligibilityBritish and Commonwealth
Awarded for"… exemplary acts of bravery."
StatusCurrently awarded.
DescriptionSilver disk, 36mm diameter
Established20 June 1974
Total awarded1,044 including 19 bars to end of 2013
Order of Wear
Next (higher)Colonial Police Medal for Gallantry[1]
Next (lower)Royal Victorian Medal[1]
Queens Gallantry Medal UK ribbon

Ribbon bar
UK Queens Gallantry Medal w Clasp BAR

Silver rosette signifies a second award


The Queen's Gallantry Medal was instituted on 20 June 1974 to replace the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry and the British Empire Medal for Gallantry. The QGM ended the situation where the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry was awarded for lesser acts of bravery than the George Medal but took precedence over it in the Order of Wear.[2]


The QGM is awarded for "exemplary acts of bravery" by civilians and members of the Armed Forces where purely military honours are not normally granted.[3]

The QGM has been awarded posthumously since 30 November 1977.[4] Since then, the Queen's Police Medal for Gallantry and the Colonial Police Medal for Gallantry have been discontinued as posthumous awards, with the QGM, or the George Medal, being awarded instead.

To the end of 2013 there have been 1,044 QGMs awarded, including 19 second award bars. The armed forces received 525 awards and civilians, including police, 519 including 120 to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, almost twice as many as any other group.[5] Thirty eight of the awards were posthumous,[6] and 24 were to women.[7]


The QGM is silver and circular in shape, 36 mm in diameter, with the following design:[8]

  • The obverse shows the crowned effigy of the Queen, with the inscription "ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F.D.".
  • The reverse bears the image of a St. Edward's Crown above the words 'The Queen's Gallantry Medal' in four lines, flanked by laurel sprigs.
  • The 32 mm wide ribbon is of three equal stripes of dark blue, pearl grey and dark blue with a narrow rose pink stripe in the centre. While awards to women generally have the ribbon fashioned into a bow, female recipients in the armed forces or civilian uniformed services have the medal presented with the ribbon in the same style as for male recipients.[9]
  • The name of the recipient is impressed on the rim of the medal. When awarded to members of the Armed Forces, service number rank, and unit are also included.
  • A further award of the QGM is indicated by a silver bar ornamented with laurel leaves worn on the ribbon. When the ribbon alone is worn, a silver rosette denotes award of the bar.

Recipients are entitled to the post-nominal letters "Q.G.M.".

Notable recipients

Among the more notable recipients are:

  • Charles Bruce, former 22 Special Air Service Soldier. Awarded in November 1986 for his conduct in Operation Banner, Northern Ireland in December 1984.[10][11]
  • Peter Edmonds, Metropolitan Police Officer. Awarded in March 1974 for his actions during the kidnap attempt of Anne, Princess Royal.
  • Guy Edwards, former Formula 1 driver. Awarded for assisting in the rescue of Niki Lauda from his blazing Ferrari 312T at the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.
  • John Leonard Graham GM. Detective Senior Constable, Queensland Police Service. Awarded in 1976 for the rescue of 36 occupants of the Coolangatta Hotel, after an arsonist set the hotel on fire on New Years Day, 1975. Anthony Lacon and Ian Rogers also received the QGM for this rescue. Graham had previously been awarded the George Medal for bravery in 1973, and was subsequently awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct.[12]
  • Daniel Hellings, a 19 year old Private from the 2nd Mercian Regiment of the British Army. Awarded in 2010 for uncovering several IED bombs in a combat situation in Helmand Province, Afganistan. [13]
  • Chris Jewell and Jason Mallinson, two members of the British teams involved in the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue.[14]
  • Anthony David Lacon (now Hewett-Lacon), a 23 year old Queensland Police officer. Awarded in 1976 for multiple rescues from the Coolangatta Hotel fire, when John Graham and Ian Rogers also received the QGM.[12]
  • Stephen Oake, an anti-terrorism detective who was given the award posthumously after being murdered in Crumpsall, Manchester by Islamic terrorist Kamel Bourgass. Oake had prevented the al-Qaeda member from attacking his colleges, despite being unarmed himself and having suffered eight serious stab wounds.[15]
  • Ian Kenneth Rogers, a 21 year old Queensland Police officer. Awarded in 1976 for multiple rescues from the Coolangatta Hotel fire, when John Graham and Anthony Lacon also received the QGM.[12]
  • John Smeaton, former Baggage Handler. Awarded in December 2007 for his actions in the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack.
  • Ranger Cyril J. Smith, 2nd Bn Royal Irish Rangers; killed by a proxy bomb at a border check point at Killeen, County Armagh, Northern Ireland on 24 October 1990. A Catholic man, Patrick Gillespie, who had been a civilian employee of the British Army, was forced to drive where the soldiers would be or his two sons would be shot. He was to tell the soldiers they had forty minutes to get clear but within seconds of reaching the checkpoint the bomb exploded. Smith, also a Catholic, died trying to warn colleagues and was awarded the Queens Gallantry Medal posthumously.
  • Dominic Troulan. Awarded in May 1996 for service in Northern Ireland. After service in the Royal Marines and British Army, in June 2017 he became the first living British civilian to be awarded the George Cross since 1974 and the first holder of both the George Cross and the QGM.[16]
  • Stanley MacLeod. Diving Superintendent on the Piper Alpha Oil Platform for leading 19 men to safety after the North Sea structure exploded.

See also


  1. ^ a b "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3352.
  2. ^ "No. 43474". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 October 1964. p. 9122.
  3. ^ Abbott and Tamplin. British Gallantry Awards, page 256
  4. ^ "No. 47398". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 December 1977. p. 15237.
  5. ^ Metcalfe. For exemplary bravery: the Queen's Gallantry Medal, Table 3, pp. 102-103
  6. ^ Metcalfe. For exemplary bravery: the Queen's Gallantry Medal, chapter 7
  7. ^ Metcalfe. For exemplary bravery: the Queen's Gallantry Medal, preliminary pages
  8. ^ Abbott and Tamplin. British Gallantry Awards, page 257
  9. ^ Metcalfe. For exemplary bravery: the Queen's Gallantry Medal, page 32
  10. ^ McNab, Andy (2008). Seven Troop. pp. 184–187. ISBN 9780552158664.
  11. ^ "No. 50711". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 November 1986. p. 14519.
  12. ^ a b c Among 40 QGMs to Australians, gazetted after the creation of Australian Honours System but before 5 October 1992, when any future awards to Australians are treated by Australia as foreign awards. Accounts of all Australian recipients is included in For Exemplary Bravery: The Queens Gallantry Medal by Nick Metcalfe, see sources below.
  13. ^ Hellings, Daniel. "Chester soldier's gallantry medal for heroic rescue". The Standard. Natalie Barnett. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Honours for Thai cave rescue divers". BBC News. 28 December 2018.
  15. ^ Bunyan, Nigel (5 January 2009). "Detective murdered by al-Qaeda terrorist given Queen's Gallantry medal" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  16. ^ "No. 54393". The London Gazette. 9 May 1996. p. 6548.


  • Abbott, Peter Edward; Tamplin, John Michael Alan (1981). British Gallantry Awards (2nd ed.). London, UK: Nimrod Dix and Co. ISBN 9780902633742.
  • Duckers, Peter (2001). British Gallantry Awards 1855–2000. Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, UK: Shire Publications. ISBN 9780747805168.
  • Metcalfe, Nick (2014). For Exemplary Bravery: The Queen's Gallantry Medal. Woodstock, Oxfordshire, UK: Writersworld. ISBN 978-0-9572695-1-4.
  • Mussell, John W.; the Editorial Team of Medal News, eds. (2017). The Medal Yearbook 2017. Devon, UK: Token Publishing Ltd. ISBN 9781908828316.
  • Home Office Circular No 252/1951, dated 10 December 1951
  • Amending Warrant to the George Medal dated 30 November 1977, clause 5.
  • Royal Warrant instituting the Queen's Police Medal, Clause 3 (referring to posthumous awards only) dated 4 June 1954.
1992 New Zealand bravery awards

The 1992 New Zealand bravery awards were announced via a Special Honours List on 18 February 1992, and were dated 19 December 1991. Eight of the 13 recipients were recognised—three of them posthumously—for acts of bravery during the Aramoana Massacre on 13 November 1991.

Ammunition technical officer

An ammunition technical officer (ATO) is an officer involved in all aspects of the army's use of ammunition. This includes: bomb disposal, clearance of ERW, explosives accident investigation, procurement, in service management, storage, and inspection and repair.

Bill Lickiss

William Daniel Lickiss (31 July 1924 – 22 February 1993) was an Australian politician.

He was born in Sydney to William George Lickiss and Lillian Rita, née Green. He attended Clempton Park Public School and Canterbury Boys' High School before the family moved to Brisbane. He studied at the University of Queensland and became a draftsman with the Queensland Survey Office and then the Department of Territories in Darwin. During World War II he served in the Royal Australian Air Force as a navigator and intelligence officer. Returning to Queensland, he farmed sugarcane and pineapples and joined the Liberal Party. In 1963 he was elected to the Queensland Legislative Assembly as the member for Mount Coot-tha. On 3 October 1975 he was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for his efforts to rescue a soldier during the flooding in Brisbane the previous year. In 1975 he was appointed to the front bench as Minister for Survey, Valuation, Urban and Regional Affairs, with a further promotion to Attorney-General and Minister for Justice in 1976. He lost his front bench position in 1980 but became Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in 1983, serving until 1986. In that year he also moved from his seat of Mount Coot-tha to Moggill. He retired in 1989. Lickiss died in Brisbane in 1993.

Brian Dutton (Royal Navy officer)

Brian Frederick Dutton, (15 November 1931 – 23 April 2018) was a Royal Navy bomb-disposal officer who served in the Falklands War. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1982 for disposing of an unexploded Argentine bomb on HMS Argonaught, and the Queen's Gallantry Medal for dealing with an unexploded German mine in 1974. On retirement he was beadle of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, later a liveryman of that company, mayor of Petersfield and chairman of East Hampshire council.

Chris Hunter (British Army officer)

Chris Hunter, QGM is the pseudonym of a British author, bomb disposal expert and former British Army officer.

Death of Michael Swindells

DC Michael Swindells, QGM, was a British police officer who was stabbed to death on 21 May 2004 in Birmingham whilst attempting to arrest a suspect who had earlier threatened members of the public with a knife.

Fleur Lombard

Fleur Lombard QGM (1974 – 4 February 1996) was the first female firefighter to die on duty in peacetime Britain.

Guy Edwards

Guy Richard Goronwy Edwards, QGM (born 30 December 1942) is a former racing driver from England. Best known for his sportscar and British Formula One career, as well as for brokering sponsorship deals, Edwards participated in 17 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 13 January 1974. He scored no championship points.

John Smeaton (born 1976)

John Smeaton (born Bishopton, Renfrewshire in 1976) is a former baggage handler at Glasgow Airport. He became involved in thwarting the 2007 Glasgow Airport attack. Smeaton lives in Erskine, Renfrewshire, a town outside the city and near the airport. Brought up in Erskine, he was educated at Park Mains High School. Smeaton stood as an Independent candidate in the 2009 Glasgow North East by-election.

Jon Hollingsworth

Sergeant Jonathan Stuart Hollingsworth (7 February 1971 – 23 November 2006) was a British Army soldier. Described as "an SAS hero" by a British tabloid newspaper, he reportedly sustained gunshot wounds during a raid to capture terror leaders in Basra and later died of his injuries at a nearby military hospital.

Michael Rose (British Army officer)

General Sir Hugh Michael Rose, (born 5 January 1940), often known as Mike Rose, is a retired British Army general. As well as Special Air Service Regiment commanding officer, he was Commander UNPROFOR Bosnia in 1994 during the Yugoslav Wars.

Mike Jones (canoeist)

Mike Jones QGM was a 20th-century canoeist, best known for his expeditions on the Blue Nile and Dudh Kosi.

Nish Bruce

Charles Christian Cameron "Nish" Bruce QGM (8 August 1956 – 8 January 2002) was a British Army soldier.He served with the British Army's Parachute Regiment, and Special Air Service Regiment during the Falklands War, and in Operation Banner in Ulster in the early 1980s, where he was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal. In 1998 he published a memoir of his life entitled Freefall, under the pseudonym "Tom Read". After being afflicted with psychiatric illness for several years, Bruce committed suicide by leaping without a parachute to his death from an aeroplane during a flight over South-Eastern England.

Peter Button

Peter Thomas Button (9 October 1929 – 20 November 1987) was a pioneering rescue helicopter pilot in Wellington, New Zealand.

Phil Ashby

Philip James Conyers Ashby QGM (born 1970) is a former Royal Marines commando officer, notable for his escape and evasion in the jungles of Sierra Leone in 2000.

Queen's Fire Service Medal

The Queen's Fire Service Medal is awarded to members of the fire services in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations for distinguished service or gallantry. It was introduced on 19 May 1954 when it replaced the King's Fire Service Medal. Recipients may use the post-nominal letters “QFSM.”

The most common form of the award is the Queen's Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service. The equivalent medal for gallantry, the Queen's Fire Service Medal for Gallantry, is now rarely awarded. Acts of gallantry in the fire service would, since 1977, normally attract the George Medal or Queen's Gallantry Medal.

Rupert Smith

General Sir Rupert Anthony Smith, (born 13 December 1943) is a retired British Army officer and author of The Utility of Force. He demonstrated his leadership as a senior commander during the Gulf War, for which he was recognised with the award of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), and again during the Bosnian War, for which he was recognised with the award of a Bar to his DSO. He later became Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

Simon Edens

Simon Edens, QGM, QPM, was a career police officer within the United Kingdom and is a former Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police.

Worcestershire Medal Service

Worcestershire Medal Service, Ltd. is a manufacturer of State honours and insignia. Established in 1988, they were granted a Royal Warrant as Medallists to Elizabeth II in 2008. Working with the Ministry of Defence to assist in the licensing of the production of medals, they became the first company to be granted such a licence in 2004. The Elizabeth Cross, produced by the sister company Gladman & Norman Ltd, is administered by Worcestershire Medal Service and the naming of crosses is undertaken by them.

On 1 December 2011 the UK Government announced that they had awarded the contract to manufacture the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to Worcestershire Medal Service Ltd. Around 450,000 medals will be manufactured in their UK factory for presentation to Armed Forces and Emergency Services personnel in 2012.

Today they are the approved manufacturers of all insignia issued by St James's Palace which includes the George Cross, George Medal and the Queen's Gallantry Medal.

As well as providing insignia to governments around the world, they also provide the largest selection of UK miniature and replacement medals.

Royal family
Orders of chivalry
Civil bravery
Nursing service
Meritorious service


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