Gallantry Awards

During the Second Boer War a large number of gallantry awards were presented including:-

VC Victoria Cross – created to recognise and reward outstanding acts of gallantry in the presence of the enemy. The award was open to all ranks and services in the presence of the enemy. Where the act of bravery was performed by a group of men, officers and other ranks has the privilege of selecting one of more of their number to receive the honour.  There were 78 VCs awarded for the Boer War.

DSO Distinguished Service Order – awarded to officers for meritorious or distinguished service in war.  At the time of the Boer War it was given to officers with senior command responsibilities, typically upwards of Major, however it was bestowed upon junior officers, usually in cases of conspicuous valour. There were approximately 1167 awards of the DSO for the Boer War.

DCM Distinguished Conduct Medal – awarded to Warrant Officers, NCO’s, and other ranks. For non-commissioned personnel, it was a distinction second only to the Victoria Cross. A bar was awarded for a subsequent act of distinguished conduct in the field. There were 2076 awards of the DCM for the Boer War

CGM Conspicuous Gallantry Medal – awarded to Chief Petty Officers, Petty Officers and men of the navy (or army personnel of equal rank serving with the navy) who distinguished themselves by acts of pre-eminent bravery in action with the enemy. It is thought that there were only 8 awards of the CGM for the Boer War.

Mentioned in Despatches

Mentions were for a specific act of bravery or for a period of outstanding service. During the Boer War it became common practice to list the names at the end of a despatch. The despatches were usually published in The London Gazette, so a mention equated to a public commendation.

This and the Victoria Cross were the only forms of recognition for gallantry or distinguished service in action that could be made posthumously.