Amalgamation and Change

In the meantime, prompted by the Governments review of the military honours system, the President and the Executive Committee started to recognise that in its current form, the DCM League would not survive, especially as the DCM was no longer to be awarded. The membership, mostly decorated during WW2 and Korea, was now suffering from age and infirmity and was increasingly unable to support any events. Two similar organisations, the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal Association and the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying) Association were also experiencing decline and the Committee of the DCM League made an approach during 1993 for these organisations to merge with the League. Don Bunce CGM was the head of the CGM Association that comprised of only around 10 members but this was an extremely rare award. Dusty Dew headed up the CGM (Flying) Association that had around 100 members out of the 113 CGM (Flying) that had ever been awarded. Accordingly, after 63 years, the DCM League was re-titled as the DCM & CGM Association on 18 September 1994, immediately after the DCM Muster at Birdcage Walk in London attended by the Duke of Kent that had been held to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the institution of the DCM by Queen Victoria. Holders of all three medals travelled from 16 countries to attend, from Australia to Zimbabwe.

The review of honours and awards announced in 1993 led to further changes, the DCM and the CGM were both superseded by the introduction of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross. With the demise of DCM and CGM holders being anticipated, the members at the Annual General Meeting of the DCM and CGM Association in January 1995 unanimously decided to further extend the membership of the Association. Accordingly, the Association now invited recipients of the George Medal, the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross and Companions of the Distinguished Service Order (when awarded for gallantry) to join. Hitherto, none of these awards had an Association of their own and therefore this decision, in a spirit of service and friendship, meant that all Level 2 gallantry awards would be eligible for membership of one organisation. It was later agreed that the title of the broader based organisation needed to change and the new title, ‘The Gallantry Medallists’ League’, was proposed by Don Bunce CGM and adopted by members later the same year. Jim Cowley remained as President and Peter Randall MBE GM was elected as the first Chairman of the Gallantry Medallists League. This new title was also a reason to produce a new badge of identity. Don Bunce designed the new badge that was incorporated onto a presentation plaque and a new lapel badge for the members of the new fraternity. The design included red, blue and light blue diagonal stripes to represent the three Services, surrounded by a laurel wreath surmounted by the crown of St Edward. It would not be until 2017 when a Ladies brooch incorporating the League logo was produced for wear by our female Life Members. At the same time, the diagonal stripes were used in the design of a new tie. A Chairman’s badge of office was acquired and worn by Peter Randall at all formal gatherings of the League.