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Distinguished Service Order Recipients

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(Level 2 Gallantry Award)

The D.S.O. was instituted by Royal Warrant on 6th September 1886.

The D.S.O. was originally instituted as an award for officers of the British Army and Commonwealth Forces, usually at the rank of Major. It was, however, also awarded to officers at a rank above or below Major. The D.S.O. could be awarded for an act of meritorious or distinguished service in wartime and usually when under fire or in the presence of the enemy. It was also made available for officers at the equivalent rank in the Royal Navy and, from 1st April 1918, the Royal Air Force.

Between 1914 and 1916 the D.S.O. was also awarded to some Staff officers when they were not under fire or in contact with the enemy. This was not well received at the time by officers who were in the field.

From 1st January 1917 it was restricted to recommendations for individuals who were in the presence of the enemy. The award was generally given to an officer in command, but some were awarded to junior officers below the rank of Captain.

Almost 9,000 D.S.O.s were awarded during the First World War. On 23rd August 1916 a Warrant enabled a recipient to be awarded a Bar for an additional award of the D.S.O.

The medal was issued without the name of the recipient being engraved on it, but some medals do bear the name of a recipient engraved on the reverse of the suspension bar. The recipient of a D.S.O. is known as a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and is entitled to use the letters D.S.O. after his name.

Source: http://www.greatwar.co.uk/medals/ww1-gallantry-awards.htm#DSO

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