George Medal
George Medal

The George Medal (GM) is the second level civil decoration of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. The GM was instituted on 24 September 1940 by King George VI. At this time, during the height of The Blitz, there was a strong desire to reward the many acts of civilian courage. The existing awards open to civilians were not judged suitable to meet the new situation, therefore it was decided that the George Cross and the George Medal would be instituted to recognise both civilian gallantry in the face of enemy action and brave deeds more generally.

Announcing the new award, the King said: "In order that they should be worthily and promptly recognised, I have decided to create, at once, a new mark of honour for men and women in all walks of civilian life. I propose to give my name to this new distinction, which will consist of the George Cross, which will rank next to the Victoria Cross, and the George Medal for wider distribution."

The Warrant for the GM (along with that of the GC), dated 24 January 1941, was published in the London Gazette on 31 January 1941. The medal is granted in recognition of "acts of great bravery." The GM was originally not issued posthumously, however the warrant was amended in 1977 to allow posthumous awards, several of which have been subsequently made.

The medal is primarily a civilian award; however The George Medal may be awarded to military personnel for gallant conduct which is not in the face of the enemy. As the Warrant states:
The Medal is intended primarily for civilians and award in Our military services is to be confined to actions for which purely military Honours are not normally granted. Bars are awarded to the GM in recognition of the performance of further acts of bravery meriting the award. In undress uniform or on occasions when the medal ribbon alone is worn, a silver rosette is worn on the ribbon to indicate each bar. Recipients are entitled to the postnominal letters GM. The details of all awards to British and Commonwealth recipients are published in the London Gazette.

This is an incomplete list of George Medal (GM) recipients from the London Borough of Lewisham area and is being added to as new people are found.

Bernard Bennie Lewisham Heavy Rescue Squad London Gazette of 31 December 1940
Albert Brittan Greenwich Heavy Rescue Squad London Gazette 22 April 1941
Albert Clarke Aux Fireman Deptford KM 8 August 1941
J W Donno Lewisham Rescue Squad London Gazette of 21 October 1941
Mary Fleming Staff Nurse, Grove Park Hospital London Gazette 22 April 1941
John Richard Foley Stoker, Park Hospital, Hither Green London Gazette 14 January 1941
Grigg David Lionel Sergeant Metropolitan Police Stationed at Catford
Joseph Hoyle Greenwich Rescue Squad
Peter John Ethelbert Inglis CD member and Clerk of Works MB Deptford KM 2 May 1941 with portrait
Frederick Edward Mockford Incident Officer ARP Deptford KM 29 August 1941
Ruby Rosser Staff Nurse, Grove Park Hospital
Henry E Sweetland CD Worker MB Deptford KM 20 June 1941
Aileen Turner Senior Asst. Nurse, Grove Park Hospital London Gazette 22 April 1941
Walter Thomas Wheeler Acting Clerk of Works MB Deptford KM 9 May 1941 with portrait

If you know of any more, please let us know. Or do you have more information on the people named above? If so click here to contribute information.


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