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Ribbon bar Ribbon bar with rosette to indicate second award Second award bar
The Military Medal (MM) was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other arms of the armed forces, and to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land. The award was established in 1916, with retrospective application to 1914, and was awarded to other ranks for "acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire". The award was discontinued in 1993 when it was replaced by the Military Cross, which was extended to all ranks, while other Commonwealth nations instituted their own award systems in the post war period.
When the medal was first introduced, it was unpopular among regular soldiers wrote MM and DCM recipient Frank Richards who stated "the Military Medal, which without a shadow of a doubt had been introduced to save awarding too many DCMs. The old regular soldiers thought very little of the new decoration". Both the DCM and the MM attracted a gratuity and the decoration allowance of an extra sixpence a day to veterans with a disability pension. However, the allowance was only awarded once even if the recipient was awarded more than one gallantry award. The ratio in the First World War was approximately five MMs awarded for every DCM.
From September 1916 members of the Royal Naval Division, serving on Western Front alongside the Army, were made eligible for military decorations, including the Military Medal, for the war's duration. It could also be awarded to members of the Royal Air Force for gallant service on the ground.
Eligibility for the MM was extended, by a Royal Warrant dated 21 June 1916, to women whether British subjects or foreign, with the first awards gazetted on 1 September 1916. Although nurses of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) and the Territorial Force Nursing Service (TFNS) and other women serving with the British Army often had the social status of officers, they did not hold an officer's commission and were therefore ineligible for the Military Cross, but could and were awarded the MM.Louisa Nolan, a civilian during the Easter Rising in Dublin, was awarded the Military Medal for her courage under fire in providing humanitarian aid to the wounded.
The Military Medal was discontinued in 1993, as part of the review of the British honours system, which recommended removing distinctions of rank in respect of awards for bravery. Since then the Military Cross, previously only open to Commissioned and Warrant Officers, has been awarded to all ranks. The MM had also been awarded by Commonwealth countries but by the 1990s most, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, were establishing their own honours systems and no longer recommended British honours.
The medal and ribbon had the following features:
A circular silver medal of 36 mm diameter.
The obverse bears the effigy of the reigning monarch and an appropriate inscription.
In Soldier Soldier, broadcast on ITV, at the 50th D Day Anniversary, Robson Green's character, Fusilier Dave Tucker, gets a veteran called Jack Knight talking, who subsequently turns out to be a recipient of the Military Medal.
In the Dad's Army episode "Branded", the platoon discover that the character Private Godfrey was a Conscientious Objector. He is then ostracized by the platoon, until they find that he was awarded the Military Medal in the First World War whilst serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps, for rescuing wounded men under enemy fire. The medal itself is central to the storyline in that it is higher than all the medals held by the rest of the platoon and is seen as a mark of true heroism which earns him great respect from them all.
In ANZAC Girls episode 6, "Courage", Sister Ross-King and three other nurses are awarded the Military Medal for bravery under fire.
In the video game Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege, the SAS character named Mike "Thatcher" Baker is seen wearing the Military Medal. The reason why it has been awarded to him is not mentioned.