List of Fleet Air Arm Honours and Awards 1939-1945
British Empire Medal
(The Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service)
awarded to FAA Personnel

British Empire Medal


This medal replaced the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (1917-1922) and had a military and a civil division. The medal was awarded for meritorious service which warranted such a mark of royal appreciation.

Military division
The medal was awarded to subordinate personnel only: non-commissioned officers. Petty Officers and men, who were eligible for the military division of the various levels of this order.

After the Empire Gallantry Medal (EGM) was superseded by the George Cross, the BEM continued to be awarded for gallantry (but of a degree less than that required to earn the George Medal). 


Bars could be awarded for services or acts that would have earned the medal. After 1957, when the medal was awarded or gallantry, a silver oak leaf emblem was worn on the ribbon to signify that the award was for gallantry and not for service. 


Originally The civil ribbon was purple (1.25" wide). The military ribbon had a narrow central red stripe added.

Current (after 1937) The civil ribbon is rose-pink with pear-grey edges (1.25" wide). The military ribbon has a narrow, pearl-grey central stripe added.


The medal was created by Royal Warrant on 29 December 1922.
The first award of the BEM to a Canadian was on 26 January 1935. 
The EGM was superseded by the George Cross on 24 September 1940 and the BEM was thereafter awarded for gallantry as well as service. 
Since 06 December 1957, a silver oak leaf has been worn to signify an award for gallantry.


Military awards have the service number, full name and unit or service engraved and civil awards usually have the names in full engraved around the rim.

List of Fleet Air Arm TAG recipients of the BEM

  • CPO MV Dale 710 sqdn
  • L/A DV Gill 824 sqdn
  • PDL Reason 812 sqdn
For information on Fleet Air Arm campaign medal rolls and individual awards contact the relevant Armed Services Medal Offices. 
  • Navy: Ministry of Defence, NPP Acs 3 (b) 4, HMS Centurion, Grange Road, Gosport, Hampshire PO13 9XA, UK
  • Royal Air Force: Ministry of Defence, CS Sec 1d, Room F93, Building 256, HQ RAF PTC, RAF Innsworth, Gloucestershire GL3 1EZ, UK
  • Royal Marines: Ministry of Defence, Drafting and Record Office, Royal Marines, HMS Centurion; Grange Road, Gosport, Hampshire PO13 9XA, UK 
  • Merchant Navy: Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton SO15 1EG. 
Royal Navy Ministry of Defence Website Royal Navy: Sources of Information. Online information: How to obtain Royal Navy Service Records & Medals

Last Modified: 5 April 2001

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