genealogy of the Bird and Musgrove families
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Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)

At one point I thought Hugh Benson may have been awarded the DCM during action in WW1, but this turned out not to be the case.

The DCM was instituted in 1854 to recognise "distinguished, gallant and good conduct" by troops in the Crimea. All DCMs were issued named to the recipient, usually with impressed details around the medal's rim.

Nearly 25,000 DCMs were issued during World War I, compared to 1,900 for acts during World War II. The majority of World War I DCMs have citations in the London Gazette. Since 1939, DCMs are listed in the London Gazette but don't have citations.

Full details of DCMs awarded up to 1914 can be found in the book "The Distinguished Conduct Medal" by P.E. Abbott, published by J.B. Hayward & Son. DCMs awarded during World War I can be found in a similar publication by R.W. Walker, but no citations are provided.

Contrary to what may be implied by the term "Distinguished Conduct ..." it should be remembered that this medal was, for NCOs and other ranks, second only to the Victoria Cross.

Following the 1993 review this medal has been replaced by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross. Although I have serious doubts as to whether Hugh did receive the DCM, I did find an entry for an award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal to another Private H. Benson, 2nd battalion rifle brigade (June 1916), which I record as an example ......

London Gazette 24th June 1916 (Page 6301)

His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal to the undermentioned Warrant officers, Non-commissioned Officers and men for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty in the field :-

S/12836 Pte. H. Benson, 2nd Bn., Rif. Bde.

For conspicuous gallantry. During a heavy bombardment by the enemy with trench mortars Privates Benson and Webster succeeded in digging out three buried men in broad daylight under heavy fire of all kinds.

(similarly page 6305) Pte. J.F.Webster, 2nd Bn., Rif Bde.)



Linked toHugh Benson

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