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Encyclopedia > Distinguished Service Order
DSO medal
DSO medal

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other Commonwealth countries, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... A military decoration is a decoration given to military personnel or units for heroism in battle or distinguished service. ... The Commonwealth of Nations (CN), usually known as The Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states all of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom, except for Mozambique and the United Kingdom itself. ... The armed forces of a state are its government sponsored defense and fighting forces and organizations. ...

Ribbon bar

The DSO was instituted on 6 September 1886 by Queen Victoria in a Royal Warrant published on 9 November. Typically, awarded to officers ranked Major (or its equivalent) or higher, the honour was sometimes awarded to especially valorous junior officers. 8,981 DSOs were awarded during World War I, each award being announced in the London Gazette. Image File history File links Dso-ribbon. ... September 6 is the 249th day of the year (250th in leap years). ... 1886 (MDCCCLXXXVI) is a common year starting on Friday (click on link to calendar) // Events January 18 - Modern field hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England. ... Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837, and the first Empress of India from 1 May 1876, until her death on 22 January 1901. ... Royal Warrant awarded by Elizabeth II to Jenners, a department store in Edinburgh In the United Kingdom, a Royal Warrant of Appointment is a grant made by senior members of the British Royal Family to companies or tradespeople who supply goods and services to individuals in the family. ... November 9 is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 52 days remaining. ... Major is a military rank the use of which varies according to country. ... The term junior officer is sometimes used to make clear that an officer in a military or para-military command is not in over-all command. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nikolay II Aleksey Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert H. Asquith D. Lloyd George Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna... The London Gazette , front page from Monday 3 - 10 September 1666, reporting on the Great Fire of London. ...

The order was established for rewarding individual instances of meritorious or distinguished service in war. It was a military order, until recently for officers only, and normally given for service under fire or under conditions equivalent to service in actual combat with the enemy, although it was awarded between 1914 and 1916 under circumstances which could not be regarded as under fire (often to staff officers, which caused resentment among front-line officers). After 1 January 1917, commanders in the field were instructed to recommend this award only for those serving under fire. Prior to 1943, the order could be given only to someone Mentioned in Despatches. The order is generally given to officers in command, above the rank of Captain. A number of more junior officers were awarded the DSO, and this was often regarded as an acknowledgement that the officer had only just missed out on the award of the Victoria Cross. Staff officers in the U. S. Navy provide specialized support to Line Officers and to all other persons in the organization. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... Year 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... Mentioned in Dispatches (MID) is a military award for gallantry or otherwise commendable service. ... Victoria Cross medal, ribbon, and bar. ...

During World War II the DSO was awarded to 870 RAF officers, with 62 receiving a first bar, 8 a second bar, and 2 a third bar. In 1942 the award of the DSO was extended to officers of the Merchant Navy who had performed acts of gallantry while under enemy attack. The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ...

Since 1993, its award has been restricted solely to for distinguished service (i.e. leadership and command by any rank), with the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross being introduced as the second highest award for gallantry. It has, however, thus far only been awarded to senior officers as before. The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) is a second level military decoration of the United Kingdom armed forces. ...

Recipients of the order are officially known as Companions of the Distinguished Service Order. They are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "DSO". A bar is added to the ribbon for holders of the DSO who receive a second award. Post-nominal letters also called Post-nominal initials or Post-nominal titles are letters placed after the name of an individual to indicate that that individual holds a position, educational degree, accreditation, office, or honour. ... Examples of Medal Bars A medal bar or medal clasp is a thin metal bar attached to the ribbon of a military decoration, civil decoration, or other medal. ...

The medal signifying its award is a gold cross, enamelled white and edged in gold. In the centre, within a wreath of laurel, enamelled green, is the Imperial Crown in gold upon a red enamelled ground. On the reverse is the Royal Cypher in gold upon a red enamelled ground, within a wreath of laurel, enamelled green. A ring at the top of the medal attaches to a ring at the bottom of a gold "suspension" bar, ornamented with laurel. At the top of the ribbon is a second gold bar ornamented with laurel. The red ribbon is 1.125 inches wide with narrow blue edges. The medals are issued unnamed but some recipients have had their names engraved on the reverse of the suspension bar. A Medal is a word used for various types of compact objects: a wearable medal awarded by an authority government for services redered, especially to a country (such as Armed force service); strictly speaking this only refers to a medal of coin-like appearance, but informally the word also refers...

The bar for a second award is plain gold with an Imperial Crown in the centre. The back of the bar is engraved with the year of the award. A rosette is worn on the ribbon in undress to signify the award of a bar.

Notable Recipients

Arnold Nugent Strode-Jackson (April 5, 1891 _ November 13, 1972) was an British athlete, winner of 1500 m at the 1912 Summer Olympics. ... Famous picture of Mayne, taken in north Africa Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Blair Paddy Mayne DSO & 3 Bars (11 January 1915 - 14 December 1955) was a Northern Irish soldier. ... The Rt Hon. ... Major Edward Corringham Mick Mannock, VC, DSO and Two Bars, MC and Bar (24 May 1887–26 July 1918) was a British First World War flying ace and posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross. ... Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire, Baron Cheshire, VC, OM, DSO and 2 Bars, DFC (7 September 1917–31 July 1992) was a British RAF pilot during the Second World War who received the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that... Albert Ball, standing in front of a Caudron G.3. ... Henry Murrays memorial. ... Major General George Alan Vasey, CB, CBE, DSO (29 March 1895 - 05 March 1945) was an Australian Army Divisional Commander during World War II. Vasey is argued to be the best divisional commander that has ever been produced by Australia. ... Robert Little (born 1967) is a New Jersey-based criminal defense attorney and a current member of the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education (2004-2007). ... Photo from 617 Squadron The dambusters Photo submitted by Roger Shenton - (taken by John Kramer) Photo of the Dambusters Memorial at Woodhall Spa. ... Walter Edward Guinness, 1st Baron Moyne (29 March 1880 - 6 November 1944) was a British politician. ... Major Jack Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill DSO MC and Bar (September 16, 1906—March 8, 1996), nicknamed Fighting Jack Churchill, fought throughout World War II armed with a bow, arrows and a claymore. ... Air Marshal William Avery Billy Bishop VC CB DSO & Bar MC DFC ED (8 February 1894 – 11 September 1956) was a Canadian First World War flying ace, officially credited with 72 victories, the highest number for a British Empire pilot. ... Lt. ... General Sir Cyril Brudenell White, KCB, KCMG, KCVO, DSO (1876 – 13 August 1940), Australian soldier, was Chief of the General Staff of the Australian Army from 1920 to 1923 and again from March to August 1940, when he was killed in the Canberra air disaster, 1940. ... General Sir Francis George Frank Hassett AC, KBE, CB, DSO, CVO (11 April 1918-), was an Australian soldier, and head of the Australian Defence Force from November 1975 till April 1977. ... Hughie Idwal Edwards, VC, DSO, DFC, (1914- 1982)) was a highly decorated Wing Commander in the Royal Air Force (RAF), and the Governor of Western Australia during 1974-1975. ... William Riddell Birdwood, 1st Baron Birdwood (13 September 1865 - 17 May 1951) was a World War I general who is best known as the commander of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915. ... Arthur Henry Cobby (August 26, 1894-November 11, 1955) was a notable Australian military aviator. ... Memorial statue of Field Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey in Kings Domain, Melbourne. ... T. E. Lawrence in the white silk robes of the Sherifs of Mecca. ... Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Popski Peniakoff DSO MC (1897-1951), was the founder and commander of Popskis Private Army. ... Colonel Sir David Stirling, OBE, DSO (November 15, 1915 - November 4, 1990) was a Scottish laird, keen mountaineer, World War II British Army officer, and the founder of the Special Air Service. ... Roderick S. Dallas (30 July 1891-1 June 1918) was possibly the leading Australian fighter ace of World War I. Estimates of his number of kills vary from the official tally of 39, to 51 credited to him by some researchers. ... Clive Robertson Caldwell, DSO, DFC and bar, Polish Cross of Valour (b July 28, 1910 in Sydney, d August 5, 1994), Australian fighter ace of World War II. Caldwell is officially credited with 28. ... Andrew Frederick Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor (VC, DSO, MC & Bar, DFC) was a South African recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. ... Bernard Law Montgomery Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (November 17, 1887 - March 24, 1976) was a British military officer during World War II often referred to as Monty. ... Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams, KBE, CB, DSO (1890–1980) is widely considered to be the father of the Royal Australian Air Force. ... Moshe Dayan, DSO (Hebrew: משה דיין)a (May 20, 1915 – October 16, 1981), was an Israeli military leader and politician. ... George Patrick John Rushworth Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe, KBE, DSO, MC, PC, FRS, LLD, FKC, (April 3, 1918–22 February 2007) was a British politician and statesman, diplomatist and businessman. ... Layforce consisted of Nos. ... Air Vice Marshal James Edgar Johnnie Johnson CB, CBE, DSO and two Bars, DFC and Bar (9 March 1915–30 January 2001) was a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot who during World War II shot down 38 Luftwaffe aircraft, thus becoming the British flying ace with the most kills during... Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids, DSO, MC (with bar) (September 26, 1897 - October 27, 1917) was a pilot during the First World War. ... Major General Allan Elton Younger, DSO, OBE, (Tony Younger) (born 4 May 1919) is a British soldier and author. ...

See also

This article concerns British and Commonwealth of Nations orders and decorations awarded by the British Sovereign. ...

External links

  • UK Cabinet Office, Honours System: Orders of Chivalry
  • British Medals website
British honours system
Current Orders
Garter | Thistle | Bath | St Michael and St George | Distinguished Service | Royal Victorian | Merit | Imperial Service | British Empire | Companions of Honour
Old Orders

St Patrick | Royal Guelphic | Star of India | Indian Empire | British India | Indian Merit | Crown of India | Victoria and Albert | Burma The British honours system is a means of rewarding individuals personal bravery, achievement or service to the United Kingdom. ... The insignia of a knight of the Order of the Garter. ... James VII ordained the modern Order. ... Badge of a Companion of the Order of the Bath (Military Division) The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (formerly The Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath)[1] is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. ... On the Orders insignia, St Michael is often depicted subduing Satan. ... Victoria founded the Royal Victorian Order. ... For other Orders see Order of Merit (disambiguation). ... The Imperial Service Order was established by King Edward VII in August 1902. ... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire (Military division) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority... The Order of the Companions of Honour is a British and Commonwealth Order. ... The Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick is an order of chivalry associated with Ireland. ... The Royal Guelphic Order was a British order of chivalry instituted on 28 April 1815 by the Prince Regent (later George IV). ... Insignia of a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India. ... The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire is an order of chivalry founded by Victoria in 1877. ... Order Of British India First Class Order Of British India Second Class // History The Medal was originally instituted by the East India Company on the 18th of April 1837 for long, faithful and honourable service. ... // History The medal was first introduced by the East India Company in 1837. ... The Imperial Order of the Crown of India is an order in the British honours system. ... The Royal Order of Victoria and Albert was a British Royal Family Order instituted in 1862 by Queen Victoria, and enlarged on 10 October 1864, 15 November 1865 and 15 March 1880. ...

Other Honours and Appointments
Hereditary peer | Life peer | Privy Counsellor | Baronet | Knight | St John | ADC | Other orders and decorations

  Results from FactBites:
Distinguished Service Order (DSO) - Veterans Affairs Canada (339 words)
The order was established for rewarding individual instances of meritorious or distinguished service in war.
This is a military order for officers only, and while normally given for service under fire or under conditions equivalent to service in actual combat with the enemy, it was awarded between 1914 and 1916 under circumstances which could not be regarded as under fire.
The order is generally given to officers in command, above the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and awards to ranks below this are usually for a high degree of gallantry just short of deserving the Victoria Cross.
  More results at FactBites »



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