24 July 2009

Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal


The Army Long Service & Good Conduct (LSGC) medal was originally awarded to infantry NCOs and men who had completed 21 years' good conduct, or cavalry NCOs and men who had completed 24 years' good conduct. In 1870 the qualifying period was reduced to 18 years for both the cavalry and the infantry.

Silver, 36mm diameter. The metal and the size appear to be the only characteristics of the medal that remained unchanged over the years. The following information comes from a variety of sources.

King William IV - type 1 (small ring)
The medal was designed by by Benedetto Pistrucci (1783-1855). His most famous design was that of St George slaying the dragon, an image that first appeared on British gold sovereigns and crow in 1817 and is still in use today. The obverse depicts the royal coat of arms with a small shield of the House of Hanover, surrounded by a trophy of arms. The reverse carries the legend, FOR / LONG SERVICE / AND / GOOD CONDUCT. (See image below, courtesy of Dixons Medals)

King William IV - type 2 (large ring)
Same as above but with a large ring.

Queen Victoria - type 1 (Hannoverian emblem dropped)
On the accession of the new queen, the Hannoverian emblem was dropped and replaced by Queen Victoria's Royal coat of arms (see image at the top of this post), although new dies were not introduced until 1839. The legend on the reverse remained the same.

Queen Victoria - type 2 - (swivelling scroll suspension)
A swivelling scroll suspension was introduced in 1855. (See image below, courtesy of Dixons Medals).

Queen Victoria - type 3 (smaller lettering)
Swivelling scroll suspension and smaller lettering on the reverse replacing the larger lettering. (See image below, courtesy of Dixons Medals).

King Edward VII

Since 1901, Queen Victoria's coat of arms has been replaced with the head or bust of the reigning monarch. The obverse of the King Edward VII version portrays the bust of the King (facing left) in field marshal's uniform with the legend EDWARDUS VII REX IMPERATOR. The reverse carries the legend, FOR / LONG SERVICE / AND / GOOD CONDUCT.

King George V - type 1

The obverse depicts the bust of King George V (facing left) with the legend GEORGIUS BRITT: OMN: REX: ET: IND: IMP: (George V, omnipotent King of Great Britain and Emperor of India). The reverse carries the legend, FOR / LONG SERVICE / AND / GOOD CONDUCT.

King George V - type 2
In 1920 the swivelling scroll suspender was replaced by a fixed suspender.

In 1930 the name of the medal was changed to the Long Service and Good Conduct Military Medal.

Originally dark crimson, this was amended to dark crimson with white edges for awards made from 1917 onwards.

A combination of engraved and impressed.

No clasps were awarded for this medal.

A Long Service medal was also issued to members of the Volunteer Force. This was a different design and had a green ribbon.

I've borrowed the photograph on this page from the Frontier Medals website. It shows a type 2 Army LSGC medal.


  1. How hard is it to get a length of this ribbon.

    I have the medal, but it came with the dark crimson with white edges for awards made from 1916 onwards.
    any suggestions?


  2. Thanks for your message. I'm not sure how easy or difficult this is to come by. I would think you can easily buy a modern copy, not so easy foir an original. I've sent you a mail with the contact details of somebody who will be able to help.

    Paul Nixon

  3. hello.I am looking for some information about a medal i have been given by a relative.I know it was found in a field about 30years ago.
    The information on the back says "FOR LONG SERVICE AND GOOD CONDUCT" and around the side of the medal says "1027.Pte A.Burne.1st Bn LINC. REGt
    I thinks its an army medal.

  4. Yes indeed, it is. It's an LSGC for the 1st Lincolnshire Regiment. The number is actually 1029 and it was issued to Andrew Burne who joined the army on 17th january 1863 and who served in South Africa, Japan, China and India before being discharged in January 1884. Seven pages of his service record survive in WO 97 (also on findmypast). It's a nice find and if you do ever decide to sell it, let me know. In the meantime, enjoy it.


  5. Hi, ive inherited a family LSGC medal dated 1835 awarded to Samuel Clough of 77th Regiment of Foot. Interestingly it has a pin clasp on the reverese instead of a ribbon mount. Can you tell me anything about this?

  6. Hello Ian, the British Medal Forum is probably the best place to discuss this. I wouldn't bet against there being an LSGC pin clasp expert there. Your man served a total of 24 years and 244 days with the 77th Foot. He was born in Rochdale.

  7. Thanks Paul, on closer inspection it looks like someone removed the ribbon and turned it into a brooch

  8. hi - i also have been given a medal - i beleive it is a LSGC medal as it has LONG SERVICE AND GOOD CONDUCT on the reverse - on the front it has KING GEORGE V and the wording "GEORGIVS V BRITT--N REX ET IND IMP - on the edge it has the inscription 389 PTE E.J SIMS SGDS - please can you shed some light on this medal for me - kindest regards


Thank you for commenting. I'll respond as soon as I'm able to do so.