Instituted in 1914, the Military Cross (MC) was issued for gallantry in presence of the enemy to warrant and junior officers of the Army who were ineligible (on account of their rank) for the Distinguished Service Order. During the First World War, it was also available to equivalent ranks in the Royal Naval Division and Royal Marines and it later became available to equivalent ranks in the RAF for acts of gallantry on land.
The equivalent award for the other ranks for gallantry on land in presence of the enemy was the Military Medal (MM) which had been instituted in 1916 and, similarly to the MC, later became available to RAF other ranks serving on the ground.
This medal was awared to Pte H. S Holgate for bravery in the field in 1917. Pte Holgate was killed in action at Zonnebeke 11 October 1917.
Historical and social significance for school
Silver medal with a swivelling suspension. features King George the V, uncrowned, in Field Marshal's uniform on the obverse. The medal reverse depicts the crowned royal cypher over the words "FOR BRAVERY IN THE FIELD" all within a laurel wreath. Impressed around edge are the recipient's details. The ribbon has a central stripe of thin red and white lines flanked by equally sized stripes of navy.
Inscriptions & markings
Inscribed around obverse: 'GEORGIVS V BRITT: O[M]N: REX ET IND: IMP:'
Inscribed in centre of reverse below royal insignia : 'FOR/BRAVERY/IN THE/FIELD'
Impressed around OUTER edge of medal: '4303 PTE H. S. HOLGATE. 8/COY AUST. M.G.C.'
Notation on original box A./Cpl H.S.Holgate 29Bn AIF 51531/Decd. 4303