Did you have a family member who served with the British Commonwealth during World War I? Look for them in Fold3’s new collection of more than 24,000 WWI Distinguished Conduct Medal citations (via the Naval and Military Press), which is part of our British Commonwealth Military Collection.
The Distinguished Conduct Medal was Britain’s second-highest medal for gallantry in action for non-commissioned officers and enlisted men (until it was discontinued in 1993). Recipients of this award came from regiments across the Commonwealth, including Australia, the British West Indies, Canada, India, New Zealand, Newfoundland, Rhodesia, South and East Africa, and the United Kingdom.
The collection is organized by country, then regiment. The citations give a brief description of the action the medal is being awarded for, as well as basic information about the recipient.
Below are a couple examples of the types of information you can learn from the citations:
McCann R. Cpl. 3786 4th Div. attd. 13th Fld. Amb. [Australia]
On 25th April 1918, during the night attack by the 13th Brigade on Villers Brettoneux he was driving an ambulance car which was engaged in evacuating casualties from the advancing infantry along the Amiens Road to the advance dressing station at Blangy Cabaret. About 10 p.m., shortly after the advance had commenced, he made many trips with wounded along a section of the road which was exposed to heavy shell fire and his careful and expert management of his car have been responsible for saving the life of many a wounded man. 3.9.19
21479 1st Cl. A./M. S.W. Egan, R.F.C. (Catford, S.E.) [United Kingdom]
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While engaged with his pilot on a photographic reconnaissance over the enemy’s lines they were attacked in a most persistent manner by six enemy scouts. His left thumb was shot off at the beginning of the fight, but he continued to engage the enemy with his Lewis gun, and when the gun jammed he succeeded in getting it into action again, and continued to fight until he became unconscious. It was undoubtedly due to his splendid pluck and determination that the pilot was enabled to bring his machine back safely to our lines.
Did you have any family members who were awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal? Tell us about them! Or get started searching or browsing the collection here. You can also explore the other titles in Fold3’s new British Commonwealth Military Collection.