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 1000th medal awarded in 2012
Order of Wear
Next (higher) Colonial Police Medal for Gallantry[1]
Next (lower) Royal Victorian Medal[1]

The Queen's Gallantry Medal (QGM) is the third level civil decoration of the United Kingdom.

It was instituted on 20 June 1974 to replace the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry, the British Empire Medal for Gallantry, and the Colonial Police Medal for Gallantry. It therefore ended the rather strange situation whereby 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 order of wear and postnominal letters. From 30 November 1977, it has also been awarded posthumously,[2] and thus from that date it also replaced the Queen's Police Medal for Gallantry.

The medal is awarded for "exemplary acts of bravery", and is primarily a civilian medal, although military personnel can receive it too. Recipients may use the post nominal letters "QGM". Just over 1000 medals have been awarded since its inception. The Royal Ulster Constabulary has 120 recipients of the QGM which is almost twice as many awards of the QGM as any other service.

For a comprehensive history, names, and details of the acts for which the QGM has been awarded throughout the Commonwealth, refer to For Exemplary Bravery-The Queen's Gallantry Medal by Nick Metcalfe MBE, QGM (see Sources below for details).


  • 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 said driver.
  • Charles Bruce, former 22 Special Air Service Soldier. Awarded: November 1986 for his conduct in Operation Banner, Northern Ireland in December 1984.[3][4]
  • John Smeaton, former Baggage Handler. Awarded: December 2007 for his actions in the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack
  • 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 4.am New Years Day, 1975. Mr Hewett-Lacon was then a Queensland Police officer. 36 occupants were saved after the hotel was set on fire by an arsonist under the guest area. Only 40 Australians have ever been awarded the Queens Gallantry Medal with the Imperial system being replaced by the Australian system of honours and 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 serving Queensland Police officer at the time.

See also[edit]



  • 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. 
  • Mackay, James A.; Mussell, John W., eds. (2005). The Medal Yearbook 2005. Devon, UK: Token Publishing Ltd. ISBN 9781870192668. 
  • 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.