Silver Medal (for civilians, with Queen Elizabeth II cypher)
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The Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service, also known as the British Empire Medal, was instituted by King George V in 1922, to replace the Medal of the Order of the British Empire. The Silver Medal was awarded to military and civil personnel in recognition of meritorious service. The Medal was also awarded as a lower grade award of the Order of the British Empire for acts of bravery that did not merit a George Cross or George Medal. However, the Medal awarded in recognition of gallantry ceased in 1974 following the introduction of the Queen's Gallantry Medal.
Since 1941, a silver clasp featuring an engraving of oak leaves was worn on the ribbon in recognition of additional acts of meritorious service. A silver rosette was worn on the ribbon when the ribbon was worn alone to denote the award of a clasp. Beginning in 1957, a silver emblem of crossed oakleaves worn on the ribbon was awarded to denote awards of gallantry
The military and civil versions of the Medal are distinguished only by the colour of the ribbon. Until 1937, Medals issued to civilian recipients featured a purple ribbon while Medals issued to military recipients featured a purple ribbon with a central scarlet stripe. After 1937, Medals issued to civilians featured a pink ribbon while Medals issued to military personnel featured a pink ribbon with an additional central grey stripe. There are additional versions of the Medal which vary by the reverse royal cypher of the ruling monarch.
Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "BEM" and the Medal may also be awarded posthumously.
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