DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER (DSO)
The order was established for rewarding individual instances of meritorious
or distinguished service in war. This is a military order for officers
only, and while normally given for service under fire or under conditions
equivalent to service in actual combat with the enemy, it was awarded between
1914 and 1916 under circumstances which could not be regarded as under
fire. After 01 January 1917, commanders in the field were instructed to
recommend this award only for those serving under fire. Prior to 1943,
the order could be given only to someone Mentioned-in-Dispatches. The order
is generally given to officers in command, above the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel
and awards to ranks below this are usually for a high degree of gallantry
just short of deserving the Victoria Cross.
A bar is awarded for an act which would have earned the order in the
first place. The bar is plain gold with an Imperial Crown in the centre.
The year of the award is engraved on the reverse.
A gold cross, enamelled gold and edged in gold.
In the centre, within a wreath of laurel, enamelled green, the Imperial
Crown in gold upon a red enamelled ground.
Within a wreath of laurel, enamelled green, the Royal Cypher in gold
upon a red enamelled ground.
A ring at the top of the medal attaches to a ring at the bottom of
a gold bar, ornamented with laurel. At the top of the ribbon is a second
gold bar ornamented with laurel.
The red ribbon is 1.125 inches wide with narrow blue edges. A rosette
is worn on the ribbon in undress to signify the award of a bar.
The Royal Warrant was published in the London Gazette on 09 November
Officially unnamed, some recipients have privately had their names
engraved on the back of the suspension bar.
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