The King and the Queen's Gold Medals

The King and the Queen’s Gold Medals

By John Perryman

His Majesty the King’s Gold Medal

In 1916 the award of the King’s Gold Medal to Australian naval cadets was instituted at the Royal Australian Naval College, Jervis Bay as an incentive to young naval officers. At that time His Majesty King George V was the reigning British monarch.

The medal was awarded annually to the cadet midshipman who, in the opinion of the captain of the college, was most deserving of the honour and displayed ‘gentlemanly bearing, character, good influence among his fellows and officer-like qualities’. The first cadet to receive the coveted honour was Winn Lockyer Reilly in 1916.

Each recipient of the award had their name enrolled on a board which, at Jervis Bay, was displayed in the gymnasium. Later, when the college relocated to Flinders Naval Depot, it was displayed in the cadet’s Gunroom. As a further mark of prestige the letters K.M. appeared following a recipients name in the Navy List.

The medal, produced by the Royal Mint in the UK, depicted on the obverse the effigy of King George V surrounded by a legend in Latin evenly spaced around the face of the medal.

The obverse and reverse of the King's Gold Medal.

The reverse of the medal depicted a backdrop of a sprig of wattle and oak leaves with the central shield of the Australian coat of arms in the foreground. The words ‘His Majesty the King’s Medal’ appeared in raised lettering in an arch at the top of the medal while the inscription ‘Royal Australian Naval College’ was added to the face of the reverse. After the death of King George V in 1936 the obverse of the King’s medal was altered to reflect the bust and legend of King George VI.

The King's medal awarded to T.A. Dadswell in 1949 showing the effigy of King George VI on the obverse.

Her Majesty the Queen’s Gold Medal

Following the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne in 1952 the award was retitled the Queen’s Medal. Both the obverse and reverse of the medal were altered to reflect this change. An effigy of Queen Elizabeth II wearing a wreath was adopted on the obverse along with the legend: ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FD, meaning: Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith.

The obverse and reverse of the Queen's Gold Medal

In keeping in step with society the provisions concerning the award of the medal have changed over the years and today the medal is presented annually to the officer who has exhibited exemplary conduct, performance of duty and a high level of achievement whilst undergoing initial training and application courses.

The King’s and Queen’s Gold Medal Recipients

King’s Medallists

Queen’s Medallists

1916 W.L. Reilly

1952 P.J. Hocker

1988 G.M. Hornbuckle

1917 H.M.L. Waller

1953 J.S. Dickson

1989 R.C. Stone

1918 R.R. Dowling

1954 J.M. Yates

1990 L.J. Goddard

1919 R.P. Middleton

1955 M.R. Ward

1991 A.L. Ladner

1920 C.H. Brooks

1956 J. Selby

1992 In Abeyance

1921 W.E.J. Eames

1957 R.G. Taylor

1993 In Abeyance

1922 J.C. Morrow

1958 G.R. Stiles

1994 L. Ricciardone

1923 N.A. Mackinnon

1959 M.R. Pate

1995 A.S. MacDonald

1924 K.G. Whitford

1960 M.B. Forrest

1996 M.J. Turner

1925 P.E. Carr

1961 In Abeyance

1997 S.I. Chen

1926 A.S. Storey

1962 S.J. Youll

1998 P.K. Andrews

1927 C.J. Stephenson

1963 R.W. Maunder

1999 J.M. Kirk

1928  W.S. Bracegirdle

1964 D.J. Campbell

2000 J.S. Hutchinson

1929 J.K. Menary

1965 G.L. Purcell

2001 G.R. McGinley

1930 P.S.F. Hancox

1966 G.F. McLennan

2002 A.L. Hudson

1931 S. St. Vincent Welch

1967 R.J. Nelligan

2003 D.M. Murphy

1932 I.H. McDonald

1968 J.R. Lord

2004 E.W. Tielens

1933 T.M. Synnot

1969 In Abeyance

2005 J.A. Thrupp

1934 In Abeyance

1970 G.W. Sproule

2006 K.J. Stevenson

1935 G.J.B. Crabb

1971 S.J. Howlett

2007 M. Quintieri

1936 D.C. Wells

1972 A.J. Graham

2008 R.G. Classon

1937 W.G. Wright

1973 J.C. Stanbury

2009 A.G. Davies

1938 G.V. Gladstone

1974 M.A. Hudson

2010 C.G. Marchant

1939 D. Nicholls

1975 J. Purnell-Webb

2011 B.R. Trezise

1940 J.C.W. Kennedy

1976 K. Malpress

2012 M. Rayner

1941 G.H. McIntosh

1977 G.D. James

2013 L. Ruse

1942 A.J. Robertson

1978 P.D. Leschen

2014 S. Martin

1943 R. Brokenshire

1979 N.S. Coates

2015 J. Stahlhut

1944 A.F. Sallman

1980 R.G. Morrison


1945 D.W. Leach

1981 R.J. Ingram


1946 R.B. Nunn

1982 P.L. Lipsett


1947 P.M. Cumming

1983 M.A. Harling


1948 F.O. Eliason

1984 C.J. Gaudie


1949 T.A. Dadswell

1985 M.C. Warren


1950 M.W. Hudson

1986 J.F. Blake


1951 R.M. Baird

1987 J.R. Simpson


The inaugural winner of the King's Gold Medal, Midshipman W.L. Reilly, RAN.
1932 winner Lieutanant IH McDonald and 1957 winner Midshipman RG Taylorthe
1932 winner Lieutenant IH McDonald and 1957 winner Midshipman RG Taylor.
Rear Admiral G.J.B Crabb (right) the then Flag Officer Commanding East Australia Area, congratulates Lieutenant David Ramsay of the destroyer HMAS Brisbane on receiving the Queen's gold medal in Sydney on the 24th of October 1971. Lieutenant Ramsay was the son of the then Naval Officer Commanding West Australia, Commodore J.M. Ramsay (centre). He entered the Navy in January, 1963. During his time in the United Kingdom he obtained best overall marks in his final year of initial training for seaman and supply officers.

Cadet Midshipman M.A. Hudson receiving the Queen's Gold Medal from Sir John Kerr in 1974.
Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN, Chief of Navy presents Sub Lieutenant Boman Trezise RAN, with Her Majesty the Queens Gold Medal for his outstanding performance during Junior Warfare Application Course Phase III.

Left: Vice Admiral Russell Crane, AO, CSM, RAN, presents Lieutenant Andrew Davies, the 2009 Queens Gold Medal winner, with his award onboard HMAS Sydney. Right: The 2013 Queen’s Gold Medal recipient, Lieutenant Lauren Ruse, with her medal in the grounds of HMAS Creswell.

Commanding Officer HMAS Kuttabul Commander Rebecca Jeffcoat, RAN, congratulates Lieutenant James Stahlhut on becoming a Queen’s Gold Medal Winner 2015 at HMAS Kuttabul's monthly morning tea.

Commanding Officer HMAS Kuttabul Commander Rebecca Jeffcoat, RAN, congratulates Lieutenant James Stahlhut on becoming a Queen’s Gold Medal Winner 2015.

Left: Vice Admiral RH Crane, AO, CSM, RAN, the then Chief of Navy, looks on following the presentation of a replacement King's Gold Medal to the 1937 receipient, Captain Graham Wright, RAN (Retd) by the former Governor General of Australia, Dame Quentin Bryce, AD, CVO in December 2008. Right: Commodore T.A. Dadswell, AM, RAN (Retd) with the King's Medal he was awarded in 1949.