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Military Cross

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An ornamental cross in silver, with straight arms terminating in broad finals ornamented with Imperial Crowns. At the centre on the cross is the Royal Cypher (King George VI shown here). The reverse of the cross is plain in design, though at certain times the year of the award has been engraved.


A silver bar ornamented by the Crown may be issued to MC holders performing a further act of such gallantry which would have merited award of the MC.


A central stripe of deep purple flanked by equally sized stripes of white.

Awarded to

All ranks of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, and RAF in recognition of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land.


Instituted in 1914, the Military Cross (MC) was issued for gallantry in presence of the enemy to warrant and junior officers of the Army who were ineligible (on account of their rank) for the Distinguished Service Order. During the First World War, it was also available to equivalent ranks in the Royal Naval Division and Royal Marines and it later became available to equivalent ranks in the RAF for acts of gallantry on land.

The equivalent award for the other ranks for gallantry on land in presence of the enemy was the Military Medal (MM) which had been instituted in 1916 and, similarly to the MC, later became available to RAF other ranks serving on the ground.

Following the 1993 review, the MM was discontinued and the MC became available to all ranks of all services for exemplary gallantry on land in presence of the enemy. It is at a level below the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross and is at the equivalent level to the Distinguished Service Cross (for exemplary gallantry at sea) and the Distinguished Flying Cross (for exemplary gallantry in the air).

Gallantry Awards
Honours, Awards, and Decorations
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