British Meritorious Service Medal (MSM)

British Meritorious Service Medal.  A circular, silver medal, 1.42 inches in diameter.

British Meritorious Service Medal (MSM)

Contributors

Context

This medal was awarded for valuable and commendable service.

Eligibility and Criteria

The medal was awarded those in the permanent forces including Warrant Officers and senior Non-commissioned Officers (NCOs) (Sergeant or above), who were discharged after 21 years of service (18 if disabled), and had earned the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. The dates were from 1902 to 1958 if enrolled before 01 September 1939. The award was limited to 40 who could wear it at any given time. The number was increased to 75 in 1928 and to 100 in 1939.

For gallantry

In 1916, the MSM was awarded to all ranks:

"duly recommended for the grant in respect of gallant conduct in the performance of military duty otherwise than in action against the enemy, or in saving, or attempting to save the life of an officer or soldier, or for devotion to duty in a theatre of war."

The gallantry portion was cancelled on 07 September 1928 because the British Empire Medal now served this purpose. The King's Regulations and Orders’ of 1939 listed the MSM and stated that it could be awarded to a soldier of the active militia who is recommended on account of gallant conduct in the performance of military duty (not necessarily on active service) or in saving or attempting to save the life of an officer or soldier, or for devotion to duty in a theatre of war.

Description

A circular, silver medal, 1.42 inches in diameter. For mounting, an ornate scroll suspender is attached to the medal with a single-toe claw.

On the obverse:

King Edward VII: An effigy in Field Marshal's uniform, facing left, and the legend: EDWARDVS VII REX IMPERATOR

King George V:

  1. An effigy in Field Marshal's uniform, facing left, and the legend: GEORGIVS V BRITT : OMN : REX ET IND : IMP :
  2. A crowned coinage effigy, facing left, and the legend: GEORGIVS * V * D * G * BRITT * OMN REX * ET * INDIAE * IMP *

King George VI: A bareheaded effigy, facing left, and one of the legends:

  1. GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN :REX ET INDIAE IMP:
  2. GEORGIVS VI DEI GRA : BRITT :OMN : REX FID : DEF :

Queen Elizabeth II: A bareheaded effigy, facing right, and the legend: ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA

The reverse displays the inscription FOR / MERITORIOUS / SERVICE in three lines, encircled by two laurel leaves, tied at the bottom with a bow and separated at the top by an Imperial Crown. King Edward VII and King George V medals bear the word CANADA above the crown.

The crimson ribbon is 1.25 inches wide. Because the ribbon was the same as that for the Victoria Cross (VC), white edge stripes were added in 1916; and in 1917 a narrow white central stripe was added.

Bars

Awarded for additional acts of gallantry.

Historical Notes

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