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Distinguished Conduct Medals

Distinguished Conduct
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.


  1. Margi Ibach-Morgan says:

    My grandfather, Hillar J. Ibach. He was in World War I with U.S.S.Radford in Navy. Do you have any information on his history?

    Thank you.

    Margi Morgan

  2. JD says:

    I’ve two cousins who served in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and received the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

    #1017 Lance Corporal William Bennett delivered message from the trenches under heavy fire to Battalion Headquarters three times on 12 October 1916 near Geudecourt . That same evening he spotted enemies on their left flank. He took 2 men, fired on volley, charged with a bayonet, and captured a German officer and 13 men.

    There’s a monument at Geudecourt to the Newfoundlanders. They were one of the few units of the British Fourth to capture and retain their objective. In the 55 hour long battle they lost 239 men – 120 killed or died of their wounds. It, also, marks the furtherest point the British reached in the Battle of the Somme.

    William was declared missing 14 April 1917 during the First Battle of Scarpe. He was officially declared dead month later. His body was never found.

    #2010 Lance Corporal Martin Picco “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Although wounded, he continued bombing the enemy, and eventually succeeded in driving them back. He then assisted to build a new block and remained in command. He set a splendid example of courage and determination.” It was awarded 5 May 1917 – Second Battle of Bullecourt. That was his first Distinguished Conduct Medal.

    He earned his second one in March 1917 when his bombing post was attacked. With their Lewis gun disabled, 2 men dead, and another wounded, L/Cpl Picco, (also wounded in the hand) pulled grenade pins with the pinky of his left hand. They were pushed back in their trench. Picco counterattacked and captured 40 yards beyond the old block, where he built a new block and remained in command until he was relieved. When he marched back to command, he was found to have a bad case of trench foot and was sent to hospital. He was wounded a month later and died of his wounds 28 April 1917. He’s buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.

  3. Phyllis Anderson says:

    How could one find out if any past military member earned any medals? Are there lists of awards according to wars and then lists of names?

    Just wondering if it is all indexed somewhere on a searchable website.

    • British awards (including those to members of Commonwealth forces until quite recently) are always announced in the London Gazette every issue is available online back to the very first one 350 years ago (it actually started life as The Oxford Gazette). The searchable text was created by OCR so it’s not always 100% accurate, and names are presented differently at different times as to whether they’re given in full or only initials and surname. See

  4. Sam roberson says:

    I am seeking information on my grandfather, James Douglas Roberson. He was a Private, drafted in June 1917 at Falmouth, Stafford County, VA. He served with the First Division AEF Co K 16th Infantry. I would like any information you may have regarding his service, military medals etc. Thanks


    My father, Russell I Geyer (Sr) served with the U.S. Marines in England and France in WWI. He was a courier attached to the Admiralty in London and his duties included carrying dispatches between London and Paris. On his last mission the mail boat carrying him back to England was torpedoed and sank crossing the channel. He survived because the Captain of the boat (himself suffering from and broken leg) ordered him into the last life boat. The captain determined that the dispatches chained to his wrist had to be delivered to London. He never told his family about this but after he passed I found a small diary among his things. This story was in that diary.

    I’m wondering if he received any medals or commendations for his actions.

  6. Alvin Stranks says:

    My father, George Henry William Stranks, was a sapper with the British Royal Engineers from 1914 to 1918. We have 3 medals that he was awarded but wondering if he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. How would we find out?

  7. richard barlow says:

    my uncle Calixte mailhot was overseas with the royal 22 second regiment from quebec canada during the first world war he never got any medal for his service overseas

  8. pat mcilwain says:

    would like to know about my great grandfather john chambers in civil war. was suppose to have got shot overboard by friendly fire.grandmother never received pension of any kind. his widow lived in ingersol ontario. name catherine morrison chambers. died thik in detroit michigan. another one of his grandsons . john chambers fought in 1st world war. killed in france. recruited from sarnia ,ontario. lived on brock st. was a baker. sorry cannot tell he any more.