Military Medal (MM)

MM

Awarded to personnel of the British Army, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land.

First established

By King George V, 25 March 1916. ‘It is ordained that the names of those upon whom We may be pleased to confer the Military Medal shall be published in the London Gazette, and that a Register thereof shall be kept in the Office of Our Principal Secretary of State for War.’ (Gazette supplement 3647)

WW1 recipient

Pte Ernest Albert Corey, 55th AIB Btn, MM and 3 bars, gazetted 18 July 1917

‘Near Quéant, suffering heavy losses, the commanding officer of the 55th called for volunteers to assist the stretcher bearers; Corey was one of thirty men who volunteered, and for 17 hours, he assisted in carrying the wounded back to the dressing station.‘ (Gazette supplement 30188)

First bar, 14 January 1917

‘During the attack on Polygon Wood, throughout the whole operations he set a fine example of bravery and coolness to all ranks.’ (Gazette supplement 30476)

Second bar, 13 March 1919:Private Corey

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations at Peronne on 1st and 2nd September 1918… He was most unselfish throughout and cheerful at all times and under all circumstances.’ (Gazette issue 31227)

Third bar, 13 June 1919:

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as NCO in charge of Battalion stretcher bearers during an attack on the Hindenburg Line north of Bellicourt on 30 September 1918. Although enemy machine gun and shell fire were intense, this gallant NCO directed the operations of the Battalion stretcher bearers with the utmost skill and bravery.’ (Gazette issue 31405)

Corey was an Australian soldier who served in the Australian Imperial Force, 5th battalion, as a stretcher bearer. He was awarded an unprecedented and unmatched MM and 3 bars. A small man (the smallest in his battalion) with great character, he went on to serve in World War 2 in the medical section at Port Kembla. He died in Canberra age 80 and was buried in the Queanbeyan Cemetery with full military honours.

Image: Australian War Memorial