Research and Education
The Gallantry Medallists’ League is determined to ensure that the deeds and sacrifices of gallantry medal recipients from the UK and the Commonwealth are never forgotten. The League seeks not only to remember and commemorate those gallantry medallists who fought and died, we aim to remind future generations of the inspiration that can be derived from their stories of individual courage and bravery. By perpetuating their memories, we honour their achievements and safeguard their heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone.
Our library and archives have been amassed over many years and contain many of the citations for the military operational and non-operational gallantry and State awards, particularly for service during WW2 and the campaigns in Cyprus, Korea, Aden and Darfur, Hong Kong, Northern Ireland etc. We have transcribed many of the medal rolls and other records. Whilst the archive continues to expand, we hope to advance the education of the public throughout the UK and overseas by providing wider access to requests for information. In doing so, the League has already provided detailed information to the authors of numerous books on gallantry medals and their recipients. The League has also provided information to museums, film companies, the Ministry of Defence, veterans groups and to websites. At the same time, we diligently correct any erroneous information we uncover in other archives and websites. Sadly, a lot of our recent research is directed to exposing a growing trend of imposters. These are people who brazenly parade at public events wearing gallantry medals to which they are not entitled with the sole intent to deceive. Not only do these imposters insult and undermine our members and all other medallists but they also undermine the confidence of the public when seeing gallantry medallists wearing their medals on parade.
The League would really love to hear from anyone with information, pictures, paperwork, or items related to any gallantry medallists that you would like to share with us. One initiative currently in progress is to produce a photo gallery of all recipients of the George Medal. Anyone who has photographs of any relative or friend awarded the George Medal are asked to get in touch with the League Archivist who is coordinating the project. Alternatively you can write to the League at PO Box 524, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 9EY.
If you have any research requests for information on a recipient of a gallantry medal, the circumstances of awards or on gallantry awards in general, then please contact the Archivist who will assist where possible. Please remember to provide as much information as possible, including service number, capbadge and date of birth as these are key search requirements. Remember, the more information provided, the easier and quicker the search will be. One enquiry came from the USA concerning the award of the Military Medal to a US Sergeant in WW2. Our Archivist was very quickly able to provide a whole series of historical documents relating to the award, including a scanned copy of the original citation bearing the signature of General Bernard Montgomery who approved the award. We also managed to provide a copy of the cover sheet from the Central Chancery, which had been submitted to the King and had been signed “GRVI” by the King approving the award. You can imagine the delight that this bundle of paperwork provided to his family. On the down side however, it is important to note that some of our searches reveal that some people had not in fact been decorated and it is no joy to alert the families to the truth.
If any information is provided or if you have enjoyed using the site and found it valuable, please consider making a small donation to enable us to sustain the League archives in the longer term. Note we do not conduct any family history research.