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The Imperial Service Medal is a medal affiliated with the Imperial Service Order. The medal was established under the statutes of the Imperial Service Order, on 8 August 1902, by King Edward VII.[1] It is presented to selected civil servants who complete at least 25 years service, upon their retirement.

Imperial Service Medal (ISM)
Imperial Service Medal obverse.jpgImperial Service Medal reverse.jpg
Obverse and reverse of the medal
Awarded by
Personal flag of Queen Elizabeth II.svg
Her Majesty The Queen
EligibilityCivil Servants of the United Kingdom, the Dominions, Colonies, Protectorates, and Overseas Territories.
Awarded for25 years of meritorious service
Established8 August 1902[1]
Last awardedStill awarded
Order of Wear
Next (higher)Polar Medal[2]
Next (lower)Indian Police Medal[2]
Ribbon Imperial Service Order 100x30.jpg
Ribbon bar of the medal


When originally created the Imperial Service Medal was a seven-pointed star, or a laurel wreath for women, in the same pattern as the Imperial Service Order, but with the star or laurel in bronze.[3] In 1920 an amendment of the statutes changed the appearance of the medal to its current form of as a circular silver medal, 32 mm (1.3 in) in diameter, bearing the effigy of the reigning sovereign on the obverse.[4] To date, here have been six versions:[5]

The reverse bears the image of a naked man resting from his labours[5] with the inscription "For Faithful Service".[4][6]
The name of the recipient is impressed on the rim of the medal. Recipients are listed in the London Gazette.[7]

The original design: Edward VII version


  1. ^ a b "No. 27463". The London Gazette. 8 August 1902. p. 5171.
  2. ^ a b "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3352.
  3. ^ Captain H. Taprell Dorling. Ribbons and Medals. p. 38. Published A.H.Baldwin & Sons, London. 1956.
  4. ^ a b "No. 31953". The London Gazette. 25 June 1920. p. 6875.
  5. ^ a b John Mussell (ed). Medal Yearbook 2015. p. 84. Published by Token Publishing Ltd. Honiton, Devon.
  6. ^ "Imperial Service Order". The National Archives. 8 April 1986. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  7. ^ For example: "No. 61990". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 11 July 2017.