Memorial Cross

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Memorial Cross
Memorial Cross.gif
The Memorial Cross
Awarded by the
Canadian Coat of Arms Shield.svg
monarch of Canada
Type Medal
Awarded for The next of kin of a member of the CF that died in action, or in the course of his/her normal duty.
Status Currently awarded
Established 1 December 1919
Memorial Cross (Ribbon).gif
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 his or her life in active service, including peacekeeping, and other such international operations.[1][2]


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,[3] 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.[4] This medallion is worn on the left chest, on a 38 mm wide ribbon coloured solid, light purple,[1] which is attached to the cross by a silver ring.[2] 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[edit]

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.[5] 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,[6] 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.[7] The Silver Cross Mother is still chosen annually from the ranks of mothers who have received the medal.

See also[edit]