Three Services as one force, being the best in everything we do  

British Commonwealth Gallantry, Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards - The Military Cross

Obverse View

The Military Cross obverse view

About the Military Cross

The Military Cross (MC) was instituted on 31 December 1914. It is awarded to junior officers and senior non commissioned officers of the Army for courage and devotion to duty on active service. Over 500 MCs were awarded to New Zealanders during the First World War and over 250 in the Second World War. The most recent awards were for service in Vietnam. In 1993 the MC was made available to all ranks in the United Kingdom.

In 1999 the MC was replaced in New Zealand by the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration.

Lists of New Zealand military personnel awarded the Military Cross for service during the Second World War can be found in James Sutherland's book Gallantry Awards to New Zealanders in World War Two, 1989 (pp.41-56 and 182).

Royal Warrant

Many British awards have a considerable history and the Royal Warrants which instituted them have been subject to significant amendment during their currency. More information on the Royal Warrants 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.


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 courageous acts.

Order of Wear

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


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