Queen's Gallantry Medal

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Queen's Gallantry Medal
Queen's Gallantry Medal (UK) Reverse.png

Queens Gallantry Medal UK ribbon.png
Reverse of medal and ribbon
Awarded by United Kingdom
Type Civil decoration.
Eligibility British and Commonwealth
Awarded for "… exemplary acts of bravery."
Status Currently awarded.
Description Silver disk, 36mm diameter
Post-nominals QGM
Established 20 June 1974
Total awarded 1044 including 19 bars to end of 2013
Order of Wear
Next (higher) Colonial Police Medal for Gallantry[1]
Next (lower) Royal Victorian Medal[1]

The Queen's Gallantry Medal (QGM) is a United Kingdom decoration awarded for gallantry "not in the face of the enemy" where the services were not so outstanding as to merit the George Cross or the George Medal.

It 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. The QGM has been awarded posthumously since 30 November 1977 and no further awards of either the Queen's Police Medal for Gallantry or the Colonial Police Medal for Gallantry have been gazetted.[2]

The QGM is awarded for "exemplary acts of bravery" and as at the end of 2013 there have been 1044 awards including 19 bars. The military received 525 awards and civilians 519 awards including 120 awards to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, almost twice as many awards as any other group.[3] The post nominal for the award is "QGM".


  • The QGM is silver and circular in shape, 36 mm in diameter. The obverse of the medal shows the crowned effigy of the monarch.
  • 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 ribbon is of three equal stripes of dark blue, pearl grey and dark blue with a narrow rose pink stripe in the centre.
  • Further awards of the QGM are indicated by a silver bar ornamented with laurel leaves. When the ribbon alone is worn, a silver rosette denotes award of the Clasp.

NOTE:- The Queen's Police Medal for Gallantry was discontinued as a posthumous award in 1977, when the Royal Warrant which had instituted the George Medal was amended to allow the George Medal to be awarded posthumously. Prior to this, if the level of bravery of the individual was such to merit either award, should the police officer survive the event, he/she would be awarded the George Medal, and conversely, should they lose their life, then the appropriate award was the Queen's Police medal for Gallantry (posthumous award). After 1954, the Queen's Police medal could only be awarded posthumously.

Notable recipients of the Queen's Gallantry Medal[edit]

Among the more notable recipients are:

  • Guy Edwards, former Formula 1 driver. Noted for assisting several drivers in rescuing Niki Lauda from his blazing Ferrari 312T at the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. Awarded 1976 for his rescue of Lauda.
  • Charles Bruce, former 22 Special Air Service Soldier. Awarded: November 1986 for his conduct in Operation Banner, Northern Ireland in December 1984.[4][5]
  • John Smeaton, former Baggage Handler. Awarded: December 2007 for his actions in the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack
  • Peter Edmonds, Metropolitan Police Officer. Awarded: March 1974 for his actions during the kidnap attempt of Anne, Princess Royal
  • 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.
  • Anthony David Lacon (now Hewett-Lacon). Awarded 1976 for multiple rescues in Coolangatta Hotel (Queensland, Australia) fire on New Years Day, 1975. Hewett-Lacon was then a 23 year old Queensland Police officer. 36 occupants were saved after the hotel was set on fire by an arsonist under the guest area. This is one of 40 Queen’s Gallantry Medals to Australians, all gazetted after the creation of the Australian Honours System but before 5 October 1992 from which date any future awards to Australians will be treated by Australia as foreign awards. The account is included in For Exemplary Bravery-The Queens Gallantry Medal by Nick Metcalfe MBE, QGM (see sources below), including accounts of other Australian recipients.
  • Ian Kenneth Rogers. Awarded 1976 for rescue work, as above, at Coolangatta, Australia. Mr Rogers was also a 21 year old serving Queensland Police officer at the time.
  • John Leonard Graham GM. Detective Senior Constable, Queensland Police Service. Awarded 1976 for the rescue of 36 occupants of the Coolangatta Hotel fire on New Years Day, 1975. Previously awarded the George Medal for bravery in 1973, and subsequently awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct.
  • Dominic Troulan. Former Royal Marine and British Army soldier who retired in 2009 and became the first living British civilian awarded the George Cross since 1974 and the first holder of both the George Cross and the QGM.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3352. 
  2. ^ "No. 47398". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 December 1977. p. 15237. 
  3. ^ Nick Metcalfe. For exemplary bravery: the Queen's Gallantry Medal, Table 3, pp. 102-103
  4. ^ McNab, Andy (2008). Seven Troop. pp. 184–187. ISBN 9780552158664. 
  5. ^ "No. 50711". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 November 1986. p. 14519. 


  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Metcalfe, Nick (2014). For Exemplary Bravery: The Queen's Gallantry Medal. Woodstock, Oxfordshire, UK: Writersworld. ISBN 978-0-9572695-1-4.