Obverse: A plain cross, in the centre of which is a warrior on horseback surrounded by the legend “FOR GALLANTRY”.

Reverse: Plain, with the recipient’s full name and the date of the award recorded on it.

Size: 45mm across the arms of the cross.

Ribbon: 38mm wide, the ribbon is plain dark blue in colour, with a miniature of the Cross affixed to the centre when the ribbon only is worn.

Suspension: The suspender bar has laurel leaves on it. To the centre bottom of this bar is attached a small semi circle in which is a hole, with a ring passing through this and through a hole in a small semi circle attached to the upper arm of the cross.

Instituted in 1940, The George Cross is awarded for acts of gallantry by civilians, or to members of the armed forces for outstanding courage while not in direct action with the enemy. In order of precedence it comes immediately after The Victoria Cross because of its newer foundation, but before all other Orders or decorations.

Provision was made in the original warrant for living recipients of The Empire Gallantry Medal to exchange their awards for The George Cross. On 21 October 1971, this was extended to recipients of The Albert Medal and The Edward Medal.

Apart from these exchanges by holders of The Albert Medal and The Edward Medal, there have been nearly 150 recipients of The George Cross, of which six of them have been women (two of the latter were exchanges for The Empire Gallantry Medal).

As with The Victoria Cross, The George Cross may be awarded posthumously and so high is the standard of courage required before an award is made that many of them are.

To date, only two awards have been made to members of the New Zealand Army, one during the Second World War and one during peacetime.

Royal Warrant For This Award: View Warrant (PDF document)