Sea Gallantry Medal

The Sea Gallantry Medal (SGM) (officially 'The Board of Trade Medal for Saving Life at Sea'), is an award for civil gallantry at sea in Great Britain and the Commonwealth. The Merchant Shipping Act 1854 permitted the issue of this award and SGMs were first struck in 1855.[3] They were first awarded either for 'humanity' (where there was little risk to the life of the recipient), or for gallantry (where there was significant risk to the recipient).[4]

Sea Gallantry Medal
Ribbon of the SGM
TypeCivil decoration
Awarded forSaving life at sea
Presented byUnited Kingdom
EligibilityBritish subjects, or to foreigners serving in British ships, foreigners who have displayed gallantry in foreign ships in saving the lives of British subjects are eligible for Board of Trade Gold and Silver Medals ‘for Foreign Services’.
Last awarded1989
Order of Wear
Next (higher)Constabulary Medal (Ireland)[1]
Next (lower)Indian Order of Merit (Civil)[1]
RelatedQueen's Gallantry Medal[2]

Recipients are entitled to the post-nominal "SGM". There have been two awards of the Sea Gallantry Medal (Bronze) since 1974: one in 1981 and the other in 1989. No Sea Gallantry Medals (Silver) have been awarded since this time.

It further appears that SGM nominations can no longer be made, as of at least 29 November 2019 – the UK Government website regarding the bravery awards recommendations process only includes three bravery awards that the Honours and Appointments Secretariat will consider: the George Cross, George Medal, and Queen's Gallantry Medal.[5]

Notable recipientsEdit


  1. ^ a b "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3352.
  2. ^ This is arguable. The SGM predates all other UK official gallantry medals, and therefore, initially at least, covered gallantry in saving life at sea at all levels. These days it appears, but it is not officially confirmed, not to be awarded, and seems to have been replaced by the Queen's Gallantry Medal. QGM.
  3. ^ "Bernard de Neumann". Archived from the original on 25 October 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  4. ^ "Stephen Stratford". Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  5. ^ "Nominate someone for an honour or award". GOV.UK. Retrieved 28 November 2019.

External linksEdit