HM has approved a new emblem* for members of the armed forces who are killed in action or as a result of a terrorist attack. ZUI this article from the BBC:
The Elizabeth Cross will be awarded to the families of those killed.
In a personal message to service personnel, the Queen said the emblem was "a right and proper way of showing our enduring debt".
It will be available to the relatives of all those killed in conflicts since the end of World War II.
The Ministry of Defence estimates that about 8,000 families could be eligible for the award.
It says it will contact the families of those who have died since 2000 about receiving it, but relatives of those killed before that date will be required to apply themselves.
They will then be able to decide whether they wish to receive the award publicly or in private.
The Cross will be available to all those killed since 1948 in conflicts including the Falklands War and Northern Ireland Troubles.
Personnel who died in Palestine between September 1945 and the end of 1947 will also be eligible.
It will apply to regular and reserve personnel and will cover those who died in battle and later as a result of injuries received in the field.
ZUI also this article from The Times:
The decision to honour the next of kin of servicemen and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as previous wars including Korea, Malaysia, Kenya, the Falklands and Northern Ireland, was in recognition of the “lifetime grief” they had to endure, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, said today.
The emblem has a laurel wreath passing between the arms of the cross while the arms themselves bear floral symbols representing England (rose), Scotland (thistle), Ireland (shamrock) and Wales (daffodil).
The reverse of the cross bears the crowned cypher of the Queen which will also hold the engraved name of the deceased. Each family will be given one Elizabeth Cross which can be worn on any occasion and an additional pin-on miniature version. Both will be presented in a black leather box with the royal cypher on the lid and the royal coat of arms on the inner silk lining.
Although the focus of today’s announcement is on families of service personnel killed on operations or by terrorists, there is to be another category to cover members of the Armed Forces who die in circumstances which are not classed as official campaigns. This will allow for next of kin of special forces troops involved in secret missions overseas to apply for the Elizabeth Cross. The families of Gurkhas will also be eligible.
The memorial scroll will be on parchment-style paper, headed with the royal coat of arms and with the following words: “This Scroll Commemorates (name inserted) who gave his/her life for Queen and Country.”
The Elizabeth Cross and scroll will be given to both regular Armed Forces personnel and reservists, and also to members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary when deployed in direct support of a designated operation.
Air Chief Marshal Stirrup said consideration had been given to presenting a special medal to those injured on operations. But after wide consultation within the Forces, he said there had been no enthusiasm for such an award. Also rejected was the idea of adding a special clasp to the Afghanistan campaign medal awarded for those fighting in Helmand.
Families wishing to apply for the Elizabeth Cross can do so via the MOD web site, which states:
The Next of Kin of eligible personnel whose deaths fall into the following categories are to be recognised:
- Those who died from whatever cause whilst serving on a medal earning operation. Medal earning operations are those in which deployed personnel received a Campaign Medal, General Service Medal or Operational Service Medal which demonstrated the risk and rigour involved. Operations where a UN, NATO or other international body or other nations’ campaign medal was accepted for wear, in the absence of a UK medal also qualify.
- Those who died as a result of an act of terrorism where the available evidence suggests that the Service person, whether on or off duty, was targeted because of his or her membership of the UK Armed Forces.
- Those who died on a non-medal earning operational task where death has been caused by the inherent high risk of the task.
- Those who died a subsequent and premature death as a result of an injury or illness attributed to the circumstances outlined above.
* The term used by Air Chief Marshal Stirrup.