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Virtual Museum of Canada

The George Medal

The George Medal Origin and History

The George Medal The George Medal (GM) was founded on 24 September 1940 by King George VI. The George Medal was to be awarded primarily to civilians only for acts of great bravery. Awards to the military services were confined to actions for which purely military honours were not normally granted.

The George Medal is a circular silver medal approximately 1.42 inches in diameter. The obverse (until the end of the Korean War) shows a crowned effigy of George VI, facing left. On the reverse is a St. George on horseback slaying the dragon with the legend "The George Medal" around the top edge of the medal.

The mounting has a single-toe scroll claw at the top of the medal, which has a hollow ball through which a larger silver ring passes. The red ribbon is 1.25 inches wide, with five equally spaced thin blue stripes.

Names are engraved in Roman capital letters (usually with serifs). Servicemen normally have their first name and surname in full (plus rank and regiment or corps), while civilians have only the surname and initials.

Until the end of the Korean War, a total of forty-four George Medals and four first bars were awarded to Canadians (see below).

Summary of Canadians Awarded the George Medal
  Canadian Army Royal CDN Navy (RCN) Royal CDN Air Force (RCAF) Canadian Civilians
Medal Bar Medal Bar Medal Bar Medal Bar
WWII 12 0 7 4 20 0 3 0
Korea 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0