British Empire Medal (Military and Civil)

Awarded for meritorious service which warranted such a mark of Royal appreciation

British Empire Medal
Military Division:

 This medal was awarded to subordinate Personnel ONLY: Petty Officers and men, who were

eligible for the military divisions of this order.

Civil Division:

  The medal was not awarded to members of, or persons eligible for appointment to, any of the

five levels of the Order of the British Empire.


A thin, circular, silver medal, 1.42 inches in diameter


Britannia is shown seated, the sun to her right and the legend around the edge FOR GOD AND THE EMPIRE and in exergue below:



The Royal Cypher surmounted by a crown with the words, INSTITUTED BY KING GEORGE at the bottom within a border

four heraldic lions.


Awarded for additional acts of gallantry (silver laurelled bar)


The laurel leaves on the underside of a straight bar attached to the medal by a single-toe claw


Originally:   The civil ribbon was purple (1¼ inches wide).

Current (after 1937): The civil ribbon is rose-pink with pearl-grey edges (1¼ inches wide).

The military ribbon had a narrow central red stripe added.

Current(after 1937): The military ribbon has a narrow, pearl-grey central stripe added.

Awarded to:

  Awarded for meritorious service which warranted such a mark of royal appreciation.

Military awards have the service number, full name and unit or service engraved and civil awards

usually have the names in full engraved around the rim.

©Crown Copyright/MOD 2008