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Royal Red Cross

Badge of the Royal Red Cross
Badge of an Associate of the Royal Red Cross
TypeMilitary decoration
Awarded forExceptional services in military nursing
Presented byUnited Kingdom
EligibilityMembers of the Military Nursing Services
Established27 April 1883
Ribbon bar
Order of Wear
Next (higher)Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC)
Air Force Cross (AFC)[1]
Next (lower)Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)[1]
Order of Saint John[2]

The Royal Red Cross (RRC) is a military decoration awarded in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth for exceptional services in military nursing.


The award was established on 27 April 1883 by Queen Victoria, with a single class of Member and first awarded to the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. A second and lower class, Associate, was added during World War I in November 1915.[3]

The award is made to a fully trained nurse of an officially recognised nursing service, military or civilian, who has shown exceptional devotion and competence in the performance of nursing duties, over a continuous and long period, or who has performed an exceptional act of bravery and devotion at her or his post of duty. It is conferred on members of the nursing services regardless of rank. Holders of the second class who receive a further award are promoted to the first class, although an initial award can also be made in the first class. Holders of the first class who receive a further award are awarded a bar.[4]

The decoration was conferred exclusively on women until 1976, when men became eligible, with posthumous awards permitted from 1979.[5]

Recipients of the Royal Red Cross are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "RRC" or "ARRC" for Members and Associates respectively.[6]


See also


  1. ^ a b "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3351.
  2. ^ "JSP 761 Honours and Awards in the Armed Forces" (PDF). p. 12A-1. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  3. ^ "No. 29368". The London Gazette. 16 November 1915. p. 11324.
  4. ^ P E Abbott & J M A Tamplin. British Gallantry Awards. pp. 259–270. Nimrod Dix & Co, London, 1981. ISBN 0-902633-74-0.
  5. ^ P E Abbott & J M A Tamplin. British Gallantry Awards. p. xx. Nimrod Dix & Co, London, 1981. ISBN 0-902633-74-0.
  6. ^ John Mussell (ed). Medal Yearbook 2015. p. 86. Token Publishing Ltd. Honiton, Devon.