…. Order of the British Empire. How many of your ancestors have been awarded medals in a manner other than fighting for their country? From my own perspective, I can only claim one (as far as I know)….
I am very proud of my great-grandfather, Sir Albert James Taylor Day who was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and subsequently knighted in 1954 for his service to the Civil Service Whitley Council. As a family, we are lucky enough to have many letters, newspaper articles, invitations and other ephemera which detail his work and more recently, my mother discovered that a building with library and lecture theatres at the Civil Service College at Sunningdale Park, has been named after him.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry within the British honours system and was established in 1917. The motto of the Order is For God and the Empire.
The order has five grades, the top two of which are knightly (post-nominals in parentheses):
•Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE)
•Knight/Dame Commander of Order of the British Empire (KBE/DBE)
•Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
•Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
•Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Although most of the recipients are British or from certain other Commonwealth countries, the honour is occasionally awarded to foreign nationals. Such a recipient is unable to use the appellation ‘Sir’ unless he subsequently becomes a subject of the British monarch (as in the cases of Sir Yehudi Menuhin and Sir Jean Paul Getty, Jr).
Notable foreign recipients include Bob Geldof, Steven Spielberg, Jean Paul Getty, Jr, Yehudi Menuhin and Andre Previn.
Who in your research has been awarded a medal? What was it awarded for? The London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes detail the recipients of honours of this kind…. as well as insolvency data and public notices.