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The British Distinguished Service Cross

The Distinguished Service cross was introduced in 1901 and was initially named the Conspicuous Service Cross before being changed in October 1914. The cross was created to award both warrant and junior naval officers who were not eligible for the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). As well as the award’s name being changed in 1914, the eligibility was extended to include all naval officers below the rank of lieutenant commander.


Later in 1931, the award became available to not only members of the British navy, but also members of the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets and in 1940 onwards to members of the British Army who were manning the defensive anti-aircraft or anti-submarine guns and the Royal Air Force also serving in the fleet.

Numbers issued

In total, only eight of the initially named Conspicuous Service Crosses were ever issued up to 1914 with a further approximately two thousand Distinguished Service Crosses being issued during the First World War period (1914 - 18). Forty Distinguished Service Crosses were issued between 1920 - 38 and approximately five thousand during the Second World War.

If you have any military medals you would like to have valued, please contact Robin Newcombe of Grand Auctions, Folkestone, Kent.