Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (1855)
Image courtesy of "The A.B.C of War Medals and Decorations" by W. Augustus Steward
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The Conspicuous Gallantry Medal was established by Queen Victoria during the Crimean War in 1855. It was created as a gallantry award specific to naval personnel and is similar to the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The Medal was not awarded between 1855 and 1874 but was re-instituted during the final year of the Third Anglo-Ashanti War in 1874. The Medal was also awarded to military personnel of Commonwealth nations and colonies and continued to be awarded until 1993 when it was permanently discontinued and replaced by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.
The Medal was awarded to Petty Officers and Seamen of the Royal Navy, and Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates of the Royal Marines in recognition of bravery and distinguished service in the face of the enemy. In 1940, it was extended to Non-Commissioned Officers and enlisted men of the Royal Air Force for distinguished service and acts of bravery in combat alongside the Fleet. In 1942 it was extended to Non-Commissioned Officers and enlisted men of the British Army who served on British Merchant Navy ships, and to personnel in the Merchant Navy equivalent to the rank of Petty Officer or Seaman.
Recipients have been entitled a monetary award since its establishment in 1855 and were entitled to use the post-nominal letters CGM after 1917.
There are multiple versions of the medal that differ according to the obverse engraving and inscription. The medals have always been issued named, although the style of both the inscription and its typeface have changed over time.
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