What is the George Cross medal?

NHS heroes have been awarded the George Cross medal more than a year after The Sun led calls for the organisation to receive the honour.

But what is the George Cross medal? Below is everything you need to know…

What is the George Cross medal?

The George Cross medal is the highest honour by the government and the Queen a civilian can receive and is equal to the highest military gallantry award – the Victoria cross.

It is silver with one side depicting St George slaying the dragon with the inscription "For Gallantry".

The other side of the cross is the recipient's name and the date when the award was given.

What is the George Cross medal awarded for?

It was instituted in 1940 by the Queen's father King George VI for “acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger.”

Who can be awarded the George Cross medal?

The medal can be awarded to civilians, countries, organisations and military personnel.

After World War II, the island of Malta received the George Cross in recognition of the people's bravery.

People who are awarded the medal can put G.C after their names.

In 2021 Her Majesty, 95, said the medal is not only a reward for Covid-19 heroics but honours all of those who have served in the NHS.

The medal — to be presented at a later date — comes as Britain is emerging from the pandemic. 

In a letter,  the Queen hailed the “courage, compassion and dedication” shown by past and present NHS staff and described the “enduring thanks” and “heartfelt appreciation” of every Brit.

How much is a George Cross medal worth?

A George Cross can be worth anywhere from £3,500 to £4,5000, the Telegraph reported.

Since 1940 the GC medal has been awarded 408 times, 394 to men, 12 to women and one to the island of Malta.

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