Distinguished Service Order

Awarded to officers for individual instances of meritorious or distinguished service

during active operation against the enemy

Distinguished Service Order
Terms:


 The order was established for rewarding individual instances of meritorious or

distinguished service in war.

 This is a military order for officers only, and while normally given for service under fire or

under conditions equivalent to service in actual combat with the enemy, it was awarded

between 1914 and 1916 under circumstances which could not be regarded as under fire.

 After 01 January 1917, commanders in the field were instructed to recommend this award

only for those serving under fire.

 Prior to 1943, the order could be given only to someone Mentioned-in-Dispatches.

The order is generally given to officers in command, above the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel

and awards to ranks below this are usually for a high degree of gallantry just short of deserving the Victoria Cross.



Medal:


Gold (silver-gilt) cross, enamelled white and edged in gold.


Obverse:

Within a wreath of laurel, enamelled green, is the Imperial Crown in gold upon a red enamelled background


Reverse:

Within a wreath of laurel, enamelled green, is the Royal Cypher in gold upon a red enamelled background


Bars:


A plain gold bar with an Imperial Crown in the centre. The year of the award was engraved on the back of the bar.

The silver, slip-on bar is laurelled and is awarded for a further act of bravery.


Mounting:


A ring at the top of the medal attaches to a ring at the bottom of a gold bar, ornamented with laurel.

At the top of the ribbon is a second gold bar ornamented with laurel.


Ribbon:


1 inches red ribbon with narrow blue edges.


Awarded to:


Officers usually at the rank of Major. Also awarded to officers at a rank above or below Major.

Awarded for an act or acts of meritorious or distinguished service in wartime and usually when under fire

or in the presence of the enemy.


History:


Between 1914 and 1916 the DSO was also awarded to some Staff officers when they were not under fire or in contact with the enemy.

This was not well received at the time by officers who were in the field.

From 1st January 1917 it was restricted to recommendations for individuals who were in the presence of the enemy.

The award was generally given to an officer in command, but some were awarded to junior officers below the rank of Captain.

It was also made available for officers at the equivalent rank in the Royal Navy and from 1st April 1918, the Royal Air Force.

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