Recognition for families of the Armed Forces
This new award was created in 2009. It provides national recognition for the families of Armed Forces personnel who have died on operations, or as a result of an act of terrorism.
This is the first time the name of a reigning monarch has been given to a new award since the George Cross was instituted in 1940 by The Queen’s father, King George VI, for acts of bravery by both civilians and the military.
Prior to this, the Victoria Cross was introduced by Queen Victoria in 1856 for acts of gallantry by the Armed Forces.
The Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll are granted to the next of kin of UK Armed Forces personnel who have died on medal-earning operations, or as a result of an act of terrorism, in national recognition of their loss and sacrifice.
The death of any service person, whatever the circumstances, is a tragic loss to his or her family and to the Armed Forces as a whole, but the Elizabeth Cross was instituted specifically to recognise the unique challenges that service personnel face on operations and from terrorism, and the particular burden this places on Service families.
The Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll will not just be granted to families who have lost loved ones in the more recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also to the families of those who died in conflicts dating back to 1948, including the Korean War, the Falklands conflict and operations in Northern Ireland.
Eligible personnel to be remembered in this way are those who were serving with, or former members of, the Regular and Reserve Armed Forces or The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Please visit the Ministry of Defence website for more information about eligibility and how to apply for the award.