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British Empire Medal
British Empire Medal (Mil. div.).jpg
Military division medal
Awarded by Elizabeth II
Country United Kingdom
Type Medal affiliated with an order
Awarded for Meritorious service
Status Currently awarded
Motto For God and the Empire
Post-nominals BEM
Statistics
Established 1922-1993
2012-present
Last awarded 16 June 2012[1]
Precedence
Next (higher) Royal Victorian Medal[1]
Next (lower) Queen's Police Medal[1]
Related Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire (Civil) Ribbon.png
Ribbon for the Civil BEM
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png
Ribbon for the Military BEM

The British Empire Medal (BEM) is a British medal awarded for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown.[1] It was established in 1922 to replace the Medal of the Order of the British Empire. Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "BEM" and it is divided into civil and military medals in a similar way to the Order of the British Empire itself. While recipients are not technically counted as members of the Order, these medals are nevertheless affiliated with it. The BEM was awarded to subjects of the United Kingdom until 1993, after which time it lay in abeyance in the United Kingdom, although was still awarded in some Commonwealth realms. It was brought out of abeyance in June 2012, for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.[2]

History[edit]

Medal on ladies ribbon

Medal of the Order of the British Empire[edit]

The Medal of the Order of the British Empire was first established in 1917 together with the Order of the British Empire itself. It was awarded to 2,015 people, 800 of whom were from foreign countries.[1]

Transition[edit]

In 1922 the original medal was split into two new honours. While the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry (usually known as the Empire Gallantry Medal) was awarded for acts of bravery until it was replaced by the George Cross in 1940, the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service (usually known as the British Empire Medal) was awarded in similar circumstances as the lower classes of the Order of the British Empire, but usually to people below management or professional level. In the uniformed services, it was awarded to non-commissioned officers of the armed forces, officers below superintendent[citation needed] rank in the police, and personnel below divisional officer level in the fire services.[citation needed]

British Empire Medal[edit]

From 1940, the British Empire Medal for Meritorious Service could again be awarded for gallantry, but now for acts of bravery (not in the face of the enemy) which were below the level required for the George Medal and to the same classes of people awarded the BEM for other services (with more senior recipients receiving the Order of the British Empire). From 14 January 1958 these awards were instead designated as the British Empire Medal for Gallantry and consisted of the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service with a silver oak leaf emblem worn on the ribbon.[3] It could not be awarded posthumously and was eventually replaced in 1974 with the Queen's Gallantry Medal.

The BEM was awarded to subjects of the United Kingdom until 1992. Those awarded the honour did not receive it from the monarch but from the Lord Lieutenant of their county or a local authority. Then prime minister, Sir John Major decided that the distinction between the BEM and MBE had "become increasingly tenuous" and he wanted more local people to receive their awards from the Queen herself.[4] The medal continued to be awarded in the Commonwealth realms, such as the Bahamas and Cook Islands.[5]

Following the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the medal would once again be issued in the United Kingdom, beginning in 2012, to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.[4] On 16 June 2012 the honour was awarded to 293 people.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Empire_Medal — Please support Wikipedia.
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168 news items

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:56:34 -0700

Tina Selby, 51, set up the Hats For Heroes campaign because she did not want British troops to get cold on the front line. She had originally planned to send around 500 colourful beanies to servicemen stationed in Afghanistan, after reading how the ...
 
Rochdale Online
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 03:52:30 -0700

Heywood resident Carol Hartley has been presented with her British Empire Medal in recognition of her services to charity and the community. Carol, who dedicates her life to helping needy children, was honoured for 'charitable services to youngsters in ...

Sunderland Echo

Sunderland Echo
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 04:58:41 -0700

“He is a very worthy recipient of the British Empire Medal, and I'm delighted that he has asked for it be presented here in the Mayor's Parlour amongst family, friends and colleagues. “On all their behalf, and on behalf of the thousands of people his ...

Herald Scotland

Herald Scotland
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 20:09:06 -0700

As TV cameras rolled and news photographers' cameras clicked, and with friends and family looking on, the 103-year-old was presented with her second British Empire Medal (BEM). The presentation was made on behalf of the Queen by Lord Provost Sadie ...

Ballymoney and Moyle Times

Ballymoney and Moyle Times
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 01:54:10 -0700

The British Empire Medal (BEM) which was awarded to one of Ballymoney's best known and most respected residents, the late Shuan Esler, is currently on display at Ballymoney Museum. Shaun sadly passed away on 5th June 2013 and Mrs. Joan Christie, ...

Leicester Mercury

Leicester Mercury
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 07:37:30 -0700

The British Empire Medal lay in abeyance between 1992 and 2012. It was established in 1922 for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown and brought out of abeyance to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Tweet this article.
 
Oldham Chronicle
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:52:30 -0700

COMMUNITY stalwart Judith Haughton beamed with pride as she received her British Empire Medal for years of dedication to Oldham. Judith (66) of Scarr Lane, Shaw, received the award at Manchester town hall — and among the first to congratulate her ...
 
BBC News
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:11:15 -0700

Winston Evans, who at the age of 26 became Britain's youngest coxswain in 1965, was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1985. He was also awarded the RNLI's Bronze Medal in 1966 following a rescue off rocks between New Quay and Aberysytwyth.
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