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Orianna2000
02-13-2018, 10:14 PM
My story is set in modern-day London and involves a government-sanctioned agency that deals with alien immigration, trade, diplomacy, and such. The leader of a particular branch of this agency is honored for his role in helping defend the planet against an alien threat. He's given the St. George medal.



Is this appropriate? Wikipedia says the St. George is only given if the bravery doesn't take place in the presence of the enemy. I'm not sure whether an unidentified alien threat (a carnivorous fog) would be considered "the enemy" or not. The man isn't military, nor is the agency. It's all civilian. He does risk his life, though. Repeatedly.




I understand that the St. George Cross is often presented by the queen at Buckingham Palace. Is this the case for the regular St. George? If so, under what circumstances might it be presented elsewhere? (I wrote it as being given at a private banquet, formal, but not ultra-formal. The presenter was the leader of the entire agency.)




Would someone attending an ultra-formal affair (at a later date) wear the entire medal pinned to a jacket? Or would they only wear a striped bar representing the medal? Or is it not appropriate to wear the medal at all?




Final question. Would the St. George be given to a doctor who develops an antidote that prevents an alien fog from absorbing human blood, thereby saving millions of lives? Or is there a different kind of medal that's for people who go above and beyond, but without risking their lives?


Thanks in advance!

neandermagnon
02-14-2018, 12:06 AM
I don't know the details but he might get an OBE/knighthood or similar kind of honour (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_British_Empire) and be known as "Sir (last name)" - the queen generally issues a list of such honours once a year and it includes people famous for entertainment like Sir Paul McCartney of the Beatles, and business like Sir Richard Branson. AFAIK there's no particular restriction of what field you have to be great in. If the queen thinks you've done the country proud you get listed in the honours and you get the title. (Some people have famously refused to accept the title.)

Universities sometimes award people honorary degrees if they have achieved amazing things - this is for more academic/research or at least university related type of things rather than the bravery aspect of it, but all that stuff about developing an antidote and saving millions of lives would definitely qualify. AFAIK he'd have to have some kind of connection to the university... not sure how it works exactly and different universities probably have their own rules for doing stuff like that. But I think getting an honorary degree for achieving something like that is very plausible.

Apologies for being vague on the details... I don't know exactly how these things work but they sprang to mind from your question so I thought I'd mention them.

Bolero
02-14-2018, 12:40 AM
AFAIK military medals are only given to members of the armed forces.
So if a civilian were to face a gunman, they'd be eligible for the George Cross but not the Victoria Cross.

In terms of what is worn, there are also miniature medals to be worn with evening dress - though I think that is solely military, not sure. Ribbons I think are solely military - they are sewn onto uniforms.

Retired soldiers do wear full sized medals on civilian clothes at Armistice Day parade - and often wear a regimental beret as well.

So not answering your question directly, but a few more data points to help pin it down a bit.

waylander
02-14-2018, 01:34 AM
George Medal or George Cross, not St George.
Awarded by The Queen or her representative at a formal investiture when loads of people gets awards.

Honorary degree or more likely honorary doctorate for the inventor of the antidote from his old university. Some kind of medal from his professional body, knighthood certainly possibly but not the George Cross or Medal.

talktidy
02-14-2018, 06:53 PM
If he has saved humanity, then I think heís on for being made a lord, maybe even an earl or a duke, depending on the magnitude of what he accomplished. (He is a Brit, or a member of the Commonwealth, right? If not, the following will have to be reconsidered.) I would also investigate the Order of the Garter being conferred on him. Although, I always thought this a little ridiculous, it goes back a long way.

After that, so long to any anonymity and your character continuing to work in the shadows.

Brits receiving gongs are dressed to the nines and show off their new honours to the press outside Buckingham Palace. A Brit being awarded the George Cross would be lionised by the press and society at the time he received the medal from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Thereafter, I would expect the medal to stay in a drawer. If he wore it out to a shindig at a later time, (unless perhaps the shindig was to honour current and previous recipients) we would lose respect for him and laugh. We know who he is, what he had done, we donít need his honours shoved in our faces. If your character were to do this, we would be a little embarrassed for him.

Watch the naming conventions on honours -- Joe Bloggs, becomes Sir Joe Bloggs, and would not be referred to as Sir Bloggs. If he becomes a lord, he could become Lord Bloggs and referred to as such, but he could take his name from something or somewhere pertinent to his experiences. (e.g. John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent, an admiral, who took his name from the battle of St Vincent and who was later referred to as Earl St Vincent, or just St Vincent)

Orianna2000
02-14-2018, 07:47 PM
Okay, so he can't wear the medal after he's given it. I'll have to change that detail.

After I posted this, I realized it was the George, not the St. George. I guess I was thinking of the heroic St. George slaying the dragon and subconsciously decided the medal for bravery would be called St. George.

Due to secrecy, no one outside the agency knows the doctor saved the world, so no academic honors to her from her university. It'd have to be something that could be kept quiet. Same goes for the George. I'm sure the queen knows about the aliens, but they can't hold the award ceremony in public. Got to be low-key.

The character in question is Canadian and from 900 years in the future, so I doubt he's eligible for a knighting, although that's something to keep in mind.

Thanks guys!

talktidy
02-15-2018, 05:40 AM
Canada is a member of the commonwealth and would be eligible for honours.

Norman Mjadwesch
03-21-2018, 07:37 AM
George Medal or George Cross, not St George.


The Russian empire (i.e. pre-revolution) used various grades of St George awards. The highest was the Order of St George, then the Cross of St George, and the least prestigious was the Medal of St George. All of these awards came in multiple grades, with a higher grade generally requiring prior receipt of the next lowest grade. In WW1 the CSG was the standard bravery award in the Russian army, with smaller numbers of the MSG being awarded to members of the armed forces (including to foreign troops e.g. British). Of course, these are not the St George examples that you are looking for, but the MSG did exist until the communist overthrow of the monarchy.

Norman Mjadwesch
03-23-2018, 04:56 AM
Canada is a member of the commonwealth and would be eligible for honours.

Not sure about Canada but Australia, though a part of the Commonwealth, does not receive honours from the UK anymore. We have replaced the British system of military awards with our own structure (weirdly giving the top gong the same name and appearance to the original Victoria Cross - go figure), but these are all confirmed by the Oz government instead of the crown. Same applies to knighthoods - they have been abolished over here, though there is sometimes a bit of political bile about the issue. It might pay to do some checking about how much of this also applies to other Commonwealth nations (inc Mapleland).

Lastly, the George Cross is the civilian equivalent to the Victoria Cross, and would require an extreme act of bravery from the individual for a tangible benefit to the lives of others, almost certainly requiring significant risk to the recipient's life (think running into burning buildings without sunscreen to save babies).

Incidentally, some of this info is being used in my WIP, but that finishing date is soo far away...

Orianna2000
03-25-2018, 05:14 PM
Lastly, the George Cross is the civilian equivalent to the Victoria Cross, and would require an extreme act of bravery from the individual for a tangible benefit to the lives of others, almost certainly requiring significant risk to the recipient's life (think running into burning buildings without sunscreen to save babies).
The guy in question definitely does something very brave, at extreme risk to himself. He actually expects to die, but somehow doesn't. But I was thinking he'd get the George medal, not the Cross.

ULTRAGOTHA
03-29-2018, 05:04 AM
I don't know the details but he might get an OBE/knighthood or similar kind of honour (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_British_Empire) and be known as "Sir (last name)" -

A man given a knighthood would be known as "Sir (First Name)" Always Sir John. Never Sir Jones. A woman would be "Dame (First Name)" Always Dame Maggie. Never Dame Smith.




If he has saved humanity, then I think he’s on for being made a lord, maybe even an earl or a duke, depending on the magnitude of what he accomplished.

Not in modern day Britain. Peers aren't made any more. There are some circumstances under which one can be made a Life Peer (meaning your title is not passed down to your children) but it's usually a political thing, or for service over a lifetime, not a reward for bravery. Life Peers are Baron/esses and go in the House of Lords.

Also, one isn't made a "Lord". That's an honorary title for certain sons of Peers. If one is any rank of Peerage lower than a Duke, one is referred to as Lord or Lady (Title). But one's ancestor would have been created a Baron, or Viscount, or somesuch, not a Lord.


I don't know what Britain does do for feats of bravery, but a civilian medal or a Knighthood wouldn't make me blink.

Does the award have to be secret? Or only the reason he gets it? I mean "Services to the Country" covers a lot. If questioned he could say "I don't really remember. I'm told it was very dangerous, but it's all so foggy to me."

Orianna2000
03-31-2018, 12:25 AM
Does the award have to be secret? Or only the reason he gets it? I mean "Services to the Country" covers a lot. If questioned he could say "I don't really remember. I'm told it was very dangerous, but it's all so foggy to me."

I like that! Only the reason needs to be secret, if it's awarded in public. However, since I found out that wearing your medal on a later occasion isn't done, I'm going to have to switch things around. He'll be receiving the medal at the anniversary of First Contact, a private reception that will have the PM and various alien dignitaries in attendance. So the whole thing needs to be fairly secretive. Lots of security, no press, etc.

neandermagnon
03-31-2018, 11:34 AM
A man given a knighthood would be known as "Sir (First Name)" Always Sir John. Never Sir Jones. A woman would be "Dame (First Name)" Always Dame Maggie. Never Dame Smith.


Thanks for the correction :) :Thumbs: