The Military Cross is awarded to commissioned
officers of the substantive rank of Captain or
below or Warrant Officers for distinguished and
meritorious services in battle. The MC was
established in December, 1915. In 1920, the terms
were altered to clearly state the award was for
gallant and distinguished services in action and
that naval and air force officers could be awarded
the cross for gallant and distinguished services
on the ground.
There was no gallantry award, lesser than
the VC and DSO, for junior officers and warrant
officers until shortly after the outbreak of the
First World War when the MC was instituted.
Originally awarded to captains, lieutentants and
warrant officers of the Army (including the RFC),
it was subsequently extended to include equivalent
ranks of the RAF when performing acts of bravery
on the ground and there was even provision for the
Royal Naval Division and the Royal Marines during
the First World War.
Awards were extended to majors by an amending
warrant of 1931.
Bars for second and subsequent awards have a
crown at the centre.