The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross


CGC Crown cpyrtOn the 6 October 2006, Her Majesty The Queen awarded The Royal Irish Regiment the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross in recognition of the bravery, sacrifice and service of the Home Service battalions of The Royal Irish Regiment and their forebears, The Ulster Defence Regiment.

The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross is an operational gallantry medal, second only to the Victoria Cross, awarded to all ranks of the services in recognition of an act (or acts) of conspicuous gallantry during active operations against the enemy.

It is the first time the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross has been collectively awarded to any military unit, and only the third occasion, since the start of the Second World War, that such a collective award has been bestowed. The first was the award of the George Cross to Malta in 1942 and the second was in 1999 when the George Cross was awarded to the Royal Ulster Constabulary. These awards were not 'gazetted' in the London Gazette but the CGC awarded to The Royal Irish Regiment was. In 2021, the UK’s National Health Service was awarded the George Cross on its 73rd anniversary, in recognition of its work during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The Royal Irish Regiment is the only unit of the United Kingdom's Armed Forces to have been presented with the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.

Above right, the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (© Crown Copyright) is in the shape of a cross pattée in silver. Arranged behind the cross, and visible between the arms, is a laurel wreath with the circular medallion in the centre depicting the Royal, or Saint Edward's Crown. The reverse is plain and is engraved with the Regiment's full title and the award date, 6 October 2006. The cross has a pierced circular lug, through which a simple link is run to attach the cross to the pierced lug of a plain suspender bar. The medal is suspended by a white ribbon with two narrow dark blue stripes at the edge and one centre stripe in crimson.

Colour CGCThe award of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross to The Royal Irish Regiment was promulgated in Supplement No 1 to The London Gazette dated Monday 18 December 2006 (Page 17495) and stated:

The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross to the Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd, 87th and the Ulster Defence Regiment)
(To be dated 6th October 2006)

The distinction is borne on the Regimental Colours (above) in the upper canton nearest the fly. To read an account of the presentation by HM The Queen, please click on the event 'The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross is awarded to The Royal Irish Regiment'.