Military Wiki
Distinguished Conduct Medal
UK Distinguished Conduct Medal ribbon.svg
Obverse (top left) and reverse (top right) of the medal.
Awarded by UK and Commonwealth
Type Military decoration.
Eligibility British, (formerly) Commonwealth, and allied forces.
Awarded for Gallantry in the field.
Status Discontinued 1993.
Description Silver disk, 36 mm diameter.
Established 4 December 1854
Order of Wear
Next (higher) Union of South Africa King's Medal for Bravery (Gold)[1]
Next (lower) Conspicuous Gallantry Medal[1]

The Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) was (until 1993) an extremely high level award for bravery. It was a second level military decoration awarded to other ranks of the British Army and formerly also to non-commissioned personnel of other Commonwealth countries.

The medal was instituted in 1854, during the Crimean War, to recognise gallantry within the other ranks, for which it was equivalent of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) awarded for bravery to commissioned officers, but the DCM ranked well below the DSO in precedence.

From 1942, members of the Navy and Air Force were entitled to the award.

In the aftermath of the 1993 review of the honours system, as part of the drive to remove distinctions of rank in awards for bravery, the DCM was discontinued (along with the award of the DSO specifically for gallantry and of the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal). These three decorations were replaced by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, which now serves as the second level award for gallantry for all ranks across the whole armed forces.

Bars were awarded to the DCM in recognition of the performance of further acts of gallantry meriting the award. Recipients are entitled to the post-nominal letters DCM.


  • A silver medal 36 mm in diameter. The original obverse of this medal depicted a trophy of arms as seen on early Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medals. However in 1902 this was replaced by the effigy of the reigning monarch.
  • The reverse on all issues bears the inscription "FOR DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT IN THE FIELD".
  • The suspender is of an ornate scroll type.
  • The ribbon is 32 mm wide, with three equal parts crimson, dark blue, and crimson.
  • Bars were authorised for subsequent awards originally bearing the date of the subsequent awards but changing to laurel wreaths in 1916.
Ribbon bars of the Distinguished Conduct Medal
UK Distinguished Conduct Medal ribbon.svg
UK DCM w Bar ribbon.svg
DCM and Bar

Example of citation from London Gazette (10 January 1920, page 430)

Distinguished conduct medal citation in london gazette.png

See also


Further reading

  • Abbott, Peter E. Recipients of the Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1855–1909, A List with other Details of all who Received the Medal before the Outbreak of World War 1. ISBN 0903754096.
  • Mackay, J and Mussel, J (eds.) (2004). Medals Yearbook - 2005. Token Publishing.
  • Walker, Robert. Recipients of the Distinguished Conduct Medal 1914–1920. ISBN 090745500X.

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).