In 1974 the Queen's Gallantry Medal was instituted to replace awards for gallantry in the Order of the British Empire for actions not quite meriting the award of the George Medal. Since then it has been awarded on 1,044 occasions, which includes 38 posthumous awards and 19 second awards. 'For Exemplary Bravery' explains in detail, for the first time, why the Queen's Gallantry Medal was instituted. It explores the relationship between the Queen's Gallantry Medal and other awards for bravery and, also for the first time, explains why the Royal Warrant was amended in 1977 to allow for posthumous awards. Details of the medal's production are examined - the evolution of its design, the artists involved and how it is manufactured - and the original artwork for the reverse design is revealed. Although intended 'primarily for civilians', the author reveals that the medal has, in fact, been awarded to more military recipients than civilian. The majority of this unique book comprises the register of recipients and their stories of extraordinary bravery. It lists every award; all of the published citations are included, with explanatory notes, the personal recollections of many of the recipients, and the details of their other awards and medals. Also included are citations never before published in the London Gazette. A series of thirteen appendices provides first-hand accounts of events that prompted actions to rescue others, repel pirates, tackle armed and violent robbers or deal with unexploded bombs. 'For Exemplary Bravery' is lavishly illustrated with pictures of the recipients, images from the scenes of the incidents where they reacted so gallantly, and full colour photographs of many of their medals groups.
Nick Metcalfe was born in Northern Ireland into a family that for generations had worked in the linen mills of County Armagh and County Antrim.
He was commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1982. In a successful military career over the course of 27 years he served all over the world; he spent just short of eleven years on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Iraq. He was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal in 1989 and the MBE in 1997. He retired in 2009.
His current projects are a history of the 7th and 8th (Service) Battalions, Princess Victoria's (Royal Irish Fusiliers) during the First World War; a 'prequel' to his book about the Queen's Gallantry Medal, looking at the awards in the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry; a study of policing in the British Empire in the first half of the 20th Century and a novel about Britain's Unknown Warrior.