Obverse: A Cross of silver having on each arm the Imperial Crown and bearing in the centre the letters G.R.I.
Reverse: Plain, but between 1938 and 1957 the year of award was recorded on the reverse side of the lower arm.
Size: 42mm across the arms of the cross.
Ribbon: 37mm wide, the ribbon has three equal stripes of white, mauve and white.
Suspension: A plain suspender with an eyelet fixed to the bottom centre. A ring joins this to an eyelet attached to the upper arm of the cross.
Instituted in 1914, The Military Cross is awarded to officers, up to the rank of captain, and warrant officers of the Army who have displayed courage or devotion to duty in active service. Bars were authorised for subsequent acts of gallantry by Royal Warrant in 1916. Further amendments in 1917, 1918, 1920, 1931 and 1953 allowed the award to officers of equivalent rank in the other services when operating on the ground, and allowed the award to substantive majors.
There have been four awards of a third bar, all in the First World War, when 37,031 Crosses and 3,123 bars in total were awarded. During the Second World War the numbers were 10,386 Crosses and 506 bars. Approximately 600 Crosses have been awarded since the Second World War.
Awards to New Zealanders have been 530 Crosses and twenty five first bars to members of the New Zealand Army during the First World War, 251 Crosses and thirteen first bars to members of the New Zealand Army during the Second World War, two Crosses to members of the Royal New Zealand Air Force during the Second World War, ten Crosses to members of the New Zealand Army during the Korean War, two Crosses to members of the New Zealand Army during the Malayan confrontation, three Crosses to members of the New Zealand Army during the Borneo confrontation and ten Crosses to members of the New Zealand Army during the Vietnam War.
Royal Warrant For This Award: View Warrant (PDF document)
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