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vice men and women of the British Empire or the Commonwealth who are mentioned in despatches (MiD) are not awarded a medal for their action, but receive a certificate and wear an oak leaf device on the ribbon of the appropriate campaign medal. A smaller version of the oak leaf device is attached to the ribbon when worn alone. Prior to 2014 only one device could be worn on a ribbon, irrespective of the number of times the recipient was mentioned in despatches. Where no campaign medal is awarded, the oak leaf is worn directly on the coat after any medal ribbons. In the British Armed Forces, the despatch is published in the London Gazette.
Before 1914 nothing was worn in uniform to signify a mention in despatches, although sometimes a gallantry medal was also awarded.
For 1914–1918 and up to 10 August 1920, the device consisted of a spray of oak leaves in bronze worn on the ribbon of the Victory Medal. Those who did not receive the Victory Medal wore the device on the British War Medal. Established in 1919, it was retrospective to August 1914. It was not a common honour with, for example, only twenty-five members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in the First World War mentioned in despatches. In all, 141,082 mentions were recorded in the London Gazette between 1914 and 1920.
From 1920 to 1993, the device consisted of a single bronze oak leaf, worn on the ribbon of the appropriate campaign medal, including the War Medal for a mention during the Second World War. The Canadian Armed Forces still use the bronze oak leaf device.
Since 1993 a number of changes have been made in respect of United Kingdom armed forces:
For awards made from September 1993, the oak leaf has been in silver. The criteria were also made more specific, it now being defined as an operational gallantry award for acts of bravery during active operations.
From 2003, in addition to British campaign medals, the MiD device can be worn on United Nations, NATO and EU medals.
In a change introduced in 2014, up to three MiD devices may be worn on a single campaign medal and ribbon bar for those with multiple mentions, backdated to 1962. Prior to this change, even if the serviceman was mentioned in despatches more than once, only a single such device was worn.
Formal notice of a soldier in the Motor Machine Gun Service mentioned in despatches by Field Marshal Sir John French for gallantry at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle
Prior to 1979, a mention in despatches was one of three awards that could be made posthumously, the others being the Victoria Cross and George Cross. The 1979 reform allowed all gallantry decorations to be awarded posthumously.
Soldiers can be mentioned multiple times. The British First World War Victoria Cross recipient John Vereker, later Field Marshal Viscount Gort, was mentioned in despatches nine times, as was the Canadian general Sir Arthur Currie. The Australian general Gordon Bennett was mentioned in despatches a total of eight times during the First World War, as was Field M