Background: Instituted on 31st December 1914, the Military Cross (MC) is the third level military decoration for award to Warrant Officers and Officers below the rank of Major in the Army and RFC as well as the Indian Army and Colonial Forces. During World War One provision was made for officers of the Royal Naval Division and Royal Marines to be eligible for the award. In 1931 the MC was extended to Majors and to officers of the RAF for acts of gallantry on the ground. A total of around 37,000 Crosses were awarded during WW1. Records show that between 1914 – 1920, four men received the cross with THREE bars and 170 men received the Cross with TWO bars. Approximately 11,000 awards of the Military Cross were made between 1937 and 1946 with 500 first bars also being awarded. Following the Governments review of honours in 1993, the Military Cross replaced the Military Medal and became the operational gallantry award for all ranks of the Services in recognition of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land. The MC may be awarded posthumously.
Design: The cross is an ornamental silver cross with straight arms terminating in broad finails decorated with imperial crowns, suspended from a plain suspension bar. The obverse has a Royal Cypher in the centre. The reverse is plain however since 1937 the cross has had the year of award engraved, usually on the bottom arm, but examples do exist where this is engraved in the centre. Since 1983, recipeints details have been engraved across the centre of the cross. The ribbon is 32mm wide and consists of three equal vertical moire stripes of white, purple and white.
Bars: A silver bar ornamented by the crown is authorised to be worn on the ribbon for additional acts of bravery which in themselves would have resulted in the award of the Cross.