British Empire Medal

In 1922, the medal was divided into the Medal of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for GALLANTRY (known as the Empire Gallantry Medal (EGM)) and the Medal of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service (BEM.). The EGM. was superceded by the George Cross in September 1940.

The BEM. continued to be awarded for meritorious service after 1940 but also for gallantry. A military and civilian divisions continued. 


Awarded for additional acts of gallantry (silver laurelled bar). After 1957, a silver emblem of two oak leaves was awarded with the medal when it was awarded for gallantry. The oak leaves would also be worn on the ribbon in undress. In undress, the recipient of the bar wears a rosette. 


Britannia seated with the sun to her right. Legend around the edge reads FOR GOD AND THE EMPIRE and in the exergue (below) is the inscription FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE. The EGM. had FOR GALLANTRY in exergue. 


Circular, 1.42 inches, silver. A thin medal. 


Royal Cypher surmounted by a crown with the words: INSTITUTED BY KING GEORGE V within a border of four heraldic lions.


A straight clasp attached to the medal by laurel leaves. 


1917-37 1 1/16"; Purple (military had a central thin Red stripe) 
1937 - 0n 1 1/4"; Rose Pink edged with thin Pearl Grey stripes. Military has central thin grey stripe added


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