The Memorial Cross
|Awarded by the|
Monarch of Canada
|Awarded for||The next of kin of a member of the Canadian Forces who died in action, or in the course of their normal duty.|
|Established||1 December 1919|
The ribbon of the Memorial Cross
The Memorial Cross (French: Croix du Souvenir), often known as the Silver Cross, is a Canadian medal awarded to the mother, widow, widower, or next of kin of any member of the Canadian Forces who loses their life in active service, including peacekeeping, and other such international operations.
The Memorial Cross is in the form of a silver cross patonce with at the top of the vertical arm a St. Edward's Crown, symbolizing the Canadian monarch's role as the fount of honour, and at the end of the other arms a maple leaf. At the centre, within a laurel wreath, is the reigning monarch's Royal Cypher. This medallion is worn on the left chest, on a 38 mm wide ribbon coloured solid, light purple, which is attached to the cross by a silver ring. However, since January 1945, the Memorial Cross has been presented with a straight silver brooch bar in place of the purple ribbon.
Eligibility and receipt
On 1 December 1919, King George V, on the advice of his Cabinet under Prime Minister Robert Borden, created the Memorial Cross as a memento of personal loss and sacrifice on the part of widows and mothers of Canadian sailors, soldiers, and airmen who had lost their lives for the country during the First World War. The medal was granted to a widower for the first time on 19 May 2006, when it went to Jason Beam, husband of Nichola Goddard, and in January 2007 the criteria for awarding the Memorial Cross were altered, retroactive to 6 October 2001, so that all service related deaths were to be recognised, not simply those occurring during overseas missions. Further, the regulations were again changed in January 2009 to allow for the award of up to three crosses to a service member's family, also retroactive to 6 October 2001. The Silver Cross Mother is still chosen annually from the ranks of mothers who have received the medal.
- Veterans Affairs Canada. "Canada Remembers > Records & Collections > Canadian Orders, Medals and Decorations > Canadian Military Medals and Decorations > Memorial Crosses". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
- Robertson, Megan C. "C > Canada > Orders, Decorations and Medals of Canada > Memorial Cross". Medals of the World. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "Honours and Recognition Programs > Canadian National Honours". Queen's Printer for Canada. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- Veterans Affairs Canada. "Canada Remembers > Records & Collections > Canadian Orders, Medals and Decorations > Canadian Military Medals and Decorations > Memorial Crosses > Memorial Cross ERII". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- Veterans Affairs Canada. "Canada Remembers > Records & Collections > Canadian Orders, Medals and Decorations > Canadian Military Medals and Decorations > Memorial Crosses > Memorial Cross GR V". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- "Memorial Cross". CBC. 19 May 2006. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
- Department of National Defence (15 January 2009). "News Room > More Canadian Forces Families Recognized For Their Loss". Queen's Printer for Canada. Archived from the original on 4 May 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2010.