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Orianna2000
10-14-2011, 02:10 AM
My male MC, who lives in modern-day London, was given a civilian medal for heroic deeds. Now he's attending a white-tie function, and I assume that he'd wear his medal---but would he wear the full medal or just the ribbon bar?

I tried Googling it, but all I could find was info on military medals and which uniforms they should be worn with. Can anyone help?

Also, I'm trying to figure out which medal he'd be more likely to receive: the George Cross or the George Medal. The situation is that he volunteered to test a vaccine against an alien fog that's killing people. He goes out into the fog and almost dies to prove that the vaccine works, thereby potentially saving millions of lives. It's not the first time he's done something heroic, so they finally decided to honor him. Any thoughts?

Shakesbear
10-14-2011, 03:48 AM
About the medal or the bar - try contacting the Victoria Cross Society http://www.victoriacrosssociety.com/contact.htm I would guess that the rules for the VC would be the same as those for the GC.

I am not sure if he would be awarded either the GC or the GM
"The George Cross, which may be awarded posthumously, is granted in recognition of "acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Cross
Courage and heroism are not the same thing. I hope this helps.

Buffysquirrel
10-14-2011, 03:15 PM
The impression I'm getting from googling around is that yes, he can wear the medal at a white tie function. He'd have to be a British subject to be awarded a George Cross, but that restriction doesn't apply to the George Medal. If he has a George Medal he can add the initials GM after his name.

Orianna2000
10-14-2011, 04:02 PM
Further searching has turned up the fact that he can wear the medal with white tie, provided the invitations say it's okay. But how would he wear it? Google says you can wear your highest honor around your neck. However, all the photos I've seen of this particular medal show it suspended from a straight ribbon, the kind you pin to your breast, rather than the kind you wear around your neck. Can it be switched to a neck ribbon, or must it be worn pinned to the breast? Or would he just wear the little striped ribbon on his breast? He has no other medals, so it might look kind of lonely, just a little snip of a ribbon. . . .

P.S. He is a civilian. I'm not sure if he's got British citizenship or not. He's originally from Canada, but he's lived and worked in London for about 10 years.

Buffysquirrel
10-14-2011, 04:58 PM
The more I look into this, the more confused I get. The British subject information came from the government site, so you'd think they'd know what they're talking about, but I suspect they mean British citizen. A Canadian would have to be naturalised, I think. Honestly, we need an expert!

I think IF it's an official event to which he's been invited with an invitation that indicates White Tie, decorations, then he CAN wear his George Medal round his neck. But honestly I wouldn't be surprised to find it makes a difference if there's an R in the month.

The information I keep finding is for the military, though. *le sigh*

Orianna2000
10-14-2011, 05:27 PM
The information I keep finding is for the military, though. *le sigh*
That's the trouble I kept running into. There's plenty of info on how soldiers can wear their medals, but almost none for civilians. I suppose the good news is, if there's no info out there about the subject, that means no one will know if I get it wrong. ;)

areteus
10-14-2011, 05:39 PM
Are you sure he is entitled to the medal? Some medals, like some honours, are only available to UK born. As Candian he counts as a citizen of the Commonwealth, which may get him some benefits not available to a non UK citizen but there are a lot of rules and etiquette behind this.

I would have thought for civilians medal wearing is optional - including how it is worn. For military your medal is part of your dress uniform but for civilians there aren't, as far as I am aware, any rules how it is worn just 'social niceties'.

Buffysquirrel
10-14-2011, 06:11 PM
According to direct.gov, the George Medal (not the Cross) can be awarded to people who are not British citizens.

Orianna2000
10-14-2011, 06:38 PM
Are you sure he is entitled to the medal? Some medals, like some honours, are only available to UK born. As Candian he counts as a citizen of the Commonwealth, which may get him some benefits not available to a non UK citizen but there are a lot of rules and etiquette behind this.
Wikipedia says: "The George Medal (GM) is the second level civil decoration of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth." I assume that means he's eligible whether he's a citizen of the UK or Canada.


I would have thought for civilians medal wearing is optional - including how it is worn. For military your medal is part of your dress uniform but for civilians there aren't, as far as I am aware, any rules how it is worn just 'social niceties'. This may be true, but I can't even find the social niceties' rules, other than "don't wear your medals with casual clothes". Unless anyone can tell me otherwise, I'm just going to have him wear the medal around his neck for the white-tie occasion.

Shakesbear
10-14-2011, 06:43 PM
Wikipedia says: "The George Medal (GM) is the second level civil decoration of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth." I assume that means he's eligible whether he's a citizen of the UK or Canada.

This may be true, but I can't even find the social niceties' rules, other than "don't wear your medals with casual clothes". Unless anyone can tell me otherwise, I'm just going to have him wear the medal around his neck for the white-tie occasion.

I do not think that medals are worn on a ribbon round the neck - orders are. Like MBE or OBE.

The George Cross was awarded to the Island of Malta and I don't think Maltese are British citizens.

Buffysquirrel
10-14-2011, 06:49 PM
British citizenship law has changed somewhat since then.

Shakesbear
10-14-2011, 06:55 PM
I have just phoned and spoken to Mr Brian Best, founder of the Victoria Cross Society. He told me the following:

The GC is NEVER worn on a ribbon round the neck.
It has been awarded to Indian, Australian and soldiers from other countries in the Commonwealth, which includes Canada.
It is awarded for bravery/gallantry which is not in the presence of an enemy - e.g. bomb disposal.

Orianna2000
10-14-2011, 07:55 PM
The GC is NEVER worn on a ribbon round the neck.
Is it the same for the GM? Did he say how it would be worn? The little ribbon on the breast or the whole medal on the breast?


It is awarded for bravery/gallantry which is not in the presence of an enemy - e.g. bomb disposal.The George Medal says it's for bravery that is in the face of the enemy, so maybe I'm right in giving him that medal instead of the GC? He throws himself into a deadly, blood-sucking, alien fog, in order to test their new vaccine against the fog. The fog nearly kills him, so I'm guessing it could be considered "in the face of enemy action". . . .

Shakesbear
10-14-2011, 08:43 PM
Yes it is the same for the GM - it is a medal and it would be worn on the breast. If it is evening wear then it would be the medal and not the ribbon. If the fog is the enemy then I would agree with you. I've been trying to find the way in which the medal was created and there is precious little about it. I am happy to phone Mr Best again - he was really helpful and seemed pleased to be able to help. Nice man.

If there is anything else you need to know pm me and I'll phone him, or the Imperial War Museum for you. I don't mind doing research as it is how I used to earn my living. :-)))

Orianna2000
10-14-2011, 08:50 PM
If there is anything else you need to know pm me and I'll phone him, or the Imperial War Museum for you. I don't mind doing research as it is how I used to earn my living. :-)))

Wonderful, thank you! If I think of any more questions, I'll let you know. :)

Buffysquirrel
10-14-2011, 09:55 PM
Yes, in the past people in Australia, Canada, and so forth have been eligible. I believe that may have changed.

Steve Collins
10-14-2011, 10:13 PM
The medal should be 'court mounted' and worn on the left chest.

pdr
10-15-2011, 12:28 AM
why would you want him to wear the medal at a function? It just aint British to skite like that! It would have to be a Meet the Queen or vital civic, very formal function for him to wear it and the invite would say so.

Military medals are part of the uniform and must/should be worn.

Civilians usually tuck 'em away in the case in a drawer and don't wear them. So unless your chappie has been asked to the 'do' as a celebration of him getting the GM you'll have to create the right social occasion where medals are worn.

mirandashell
10-15-2011, 12:45 AM
Pdr is right. It's very rare for a civvie to wear the medal in public.

Orianna2000
10-15-2011, 01:01 AM
It's a very formal occasion: the anniversary of First Contact and Britain's first treaty with another planet. The prime minister is in attendance, along with various alien ambassadors, and it's super formal. I figured it'd be as good an excuse as any for him to wear the medal.

pdr
10-15-2011, 12:55 PM
he shouldn't wear it unless invited to.

He obviously isn't British, it just aint done to wear a medal out of uniform. He must be one of them funny foreign bods who do those weird things.

You'll have to make him a visible part of this ceremony, as a hero, and pointed out as such, for the medal wearing to ring true!

There's many a family today discovering that their late lamented great aunt or uncle/other rellies had a box full of medals and was a hero or heroine!

Theo81
10-15-2011, 02:22 PM
I'm with Pdr. If I saw a person who wasn't in uniform wearing a medal, I would think it very crass.

If you want him to wear it, I'd suggest that he's there in some semi-official function, he's there to be introduced to somebody, or as a representative, rather than just attending.

Orianna2000
10-15-2011, 04:41 PM
If you want him to wear it, I'd suggest that he's there in some semi-official function, he's there to be introduced to somebody, or as a representative, rather than just attending.
Well . . . he's the head of one of the branches that deals with alien invasions and immigration, tourism, and trade. Would it be enough to say that he's going to represent his branch? Or do they need to invite him to make a speech or something on stage, present some kind of gift to the alien ambassadors, or something like that?

nicolane
10-15-2011, 05:09 PM
He should wear it pinned to his left breast.

This news story may be interesting:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1381985/Royal-Wedding-David-Beckhams-minute-OBE-switch.html

Theo81
10-15-2011, 05:19 PM
He wouldn't need to make a speech or present a gift or anything like that, but he could very well go there and have an introduction in his capacity as head of your thing.

Like, when The Queen (or whoever) opens a hospital, they have people lined up to meet her. Same thing happens at a reception: if I were hosting a reception to honour Englebert Humpadink, I would make sure the guy from the local Englebery Humpadink tribute act were there and I would introduce them. In Michele Obama were there, I'd get the woman in charge of the growers association there and introduce her.

Basically, have your man at the party because he is head of the thing and have him be given an introduction. It would still be a bit of a knobheady thing to wear his medal, but, yannow, Canadians ;) I wouldn't question it, especially if it's something he's really proud of, or (more likely), he's being introduced to impress the other bloke.

Buffysquirrel
10-15-2011, 07:58 PM
How very British to give someone a medal and then get sniffy if he wears it.

mirandashell
10-15-2011, 10:08 PM
We don't get sniffy! We just don't big ourselves up.

Besides, a civilian being awarded a medal is a very special thing and it's often a private thing.