Meritorious Service Medal
The Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) was introduced on 19 December 1845 for the Army and 15 January 1849 for the Royal Marines. It was initially awarded to selected warrant officers and sergeants who had given long and meritorious service. It was accompanied by a lifetime annuity not exceeding twenty pounds per annum so the number of medals awarded was limited by the amount of funding available for the payment of the annuities. Until 1902 recipients of the MSM wore that award instead of the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (LS&GCM) on the same ribbon. After 1902 both medals could be worn, with the MSM worn after the LS&GCM. These positions were reversed in 1979. In 1916 the conditions were changed to allow the MSM to be awarded to warrant officers, non-commissioned officers (NCO) and men, irrespective of length of service, who were recommended in respect of gallant conduct, not in the face of the enemy, or in saving or attempting to save the life of other personnel or for devotion to duty in a theatre of war. At this time the ribbon was changed to crimson with narrow white edges with a central white stripe. Bars could be awarded for further acts. The use of the MSM in this way ceased with the introduction of the Medal of the Order of the British Empire and the award of orders of the British Empire for gallantry and for meritorious service in 1917 and 1922 respectively. In 1928 it was finally decided that the MSM should be limited to its original function as an award with annuity for soldiers above the rank of Corporal.
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