The British (Imperial) Distinguished Service Cross

The Imperial Distinguished Service Cross

Known as the Conspicuous Service Cross when instituted, it was awarded to warrant and subordinate officers of the Royal Navy who were ineligible for the DSO. In October 1914 it was renamed the Distinguished Service Cross and thrown open to all naval officers below the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Bars for second awards were authorised in 1916 and in 1931 eligibility for the award was enlarged to include officers of the Merchant Navy. In 1940 Army and RAF officers serving abroad naval vessels also became eligible for the award. Since 1945 fewer than 100 DSCs have been awarded. 


Bars were awarded for the performance of subsequent acts of service before the enemy. The slip-on bar is silver, with a crown in the centre, and is convex at the ends of the arms. Beginning during WWII the year of the award of the bar has been engraved on the back. 


A plain silver cross pattee, convex and 1.5625 inches across. 


The obverse shows the Royal Cypher on the circular central medallion surmounted by a crown. 


The reverse is plain apart from the hallmark, with the year of the award engraved on the lower arm. 


A large ring (0.75" in diameter) is linked to a small ring welded to the top arm. 


The ribbon is 1.375 inches wide and consists of 3 equal stripes: navy blue, white, and navy blue. A rosette is worn in undress to signify a bar. 


The award is issued unnamed 


The award was originally established in June 1901 as the Conspicuous Service Cross and changed to the Distinguished Service Cross in October 1914. 




Height 41mm; Max Width 35mm


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