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British Commonwealth Gallantry, Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards - The Distinguished Conduct Medal

Obverse View

The Distinguished Conduct Medal obverse view

Reverse View

The Distinguished Conduct Medal reverse view

About the Distinguished Conduct Medal

The Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) was instituted in 1854 and is the oldest British award for gallantry. It was awarded to non commissioned officers and other ranks of the Army for distinguished conduct in the field. Over 500 DCMs have been awarded to New Zealanders, the most recent being in Vietnam.

In 1993, the DCM was replaced in the UK by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.

It is no longer awarded in New Zealand since the introduction of New Zealand's own system of Gallantry and Bravery awards in 1999. Further information on New Zealand Gallantry and Bravery awards can be viewed here.

Royal Warrant

Many of these Decorations and Awards are very old and the Royal Warrants which instituted them have been subject to significant amendment during their currency. More information on the Royal Warrant and criteria for the British Gallantry, Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards can be found in the publications listed in the Bibliography. A publication titled British Gallantry Awards by P.E. Abbott and J.M.E. Tamplin is particularly recommended.

Medal Regulations

Most Gallantry, Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards do not have separate Regulations. Instructions for their administration are usually included in the Royal Warrant.

Clasps and Bars

Bars were awarded for subsequent distinguished acts.

Order of Wear

The position of this award in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.

New Zealand military personnel awarded the DCM

For information on the 525 New Zealand military personnel awarded the DCM see Alan J. Polaschek, The Complete New Zealand Distinguished Conduct Medal. Revised edition, published Christchurch: Medals Research Christchurch, 1983. (359 pages).

This book contains citations, brief biographies, and lists of other medals awarded to the 525 New Zealand military recipients of the DCM between 1899 and 1970. The book also provides the date, and page reference, that the award was notified in the London Gazette or New Zealand Gazette.

An example of a DCM citation can be read on the NZDF website.

Citations for other gallantry awards

Information on how to find the citations for other gallantry awards to New Zealand military personnel for acts of gallantry during the First and Second World Wars can be found here.