The King's 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 KM 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 TA 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 WL Reilly

1952 PJ Hocker

1988 GM Hornbuckle

1917 HML Waller

1953 JS Dickson

1989 RC Stone

1918 RR Dowling

1954 JM Yates

1990 LJ Goddard

1919 RP Middleton

1955 MR Ward

1991 AL Ladner

1920 CH Brooks

1956 J Selby

1992 In Abeyance

1921 WEJ Eames

1957 RG Taylor

1993 In Abeyance

1922 JC Morrow

1958 GR Stiles

1994 L Ricciardone

1923 NA Mackinnon

1959 MR Pate

1995 AS MacDonald

1924 KG Whitford

1960 MB Forrest

1996 MJ Turner

1925 PE Carr

1961 In Abeyance

1997 SI Chen

1926 AS Storey

1962 SJ Youll

1998 PK Andrews

1927 CJ Stephenson

1963 RW Maunder

1999 JM Kirk

1928  WS Bracegirdle

1964 DJ Campbell

2000 JS Hutchinson

1929 JK Menary

1965 GL Purcell

2001 GR McGinley

1930 PSF Hancox

1966 GF McLennan

2002 AL Hudson

1931 S St Vincent Welch

1967 RJ Nelligan

2003 DM Murphy

1932 IH McDonald

1968 JR Lord

2004 EW Tielens

1933 TM Synnot

1969 In Abeyance

2005 JA Thrupp

1934 In Abeyance

1970 GW Sproule

2006 KJ Stevenson

1935 GJB Crabb

1971 SJ Howlett

2007 M Quintieri

1936 DC Wells

1972 AJ Graham

2008 RG Classon

1937 WG Wright

1973 JC Stanbury

2009 AG Davies

1938 GV Gladstone

1974 MA Hudson

2010 CG Marchant

1939 D Nicholls

1975 J Purnell-Webb

2011 BR Trezise

1940 JCW Kennedy

1976 K Malpress

2012 M Rayner

1941 GH McIntosh

1977 GD James

2013 L Ruse

1942 AJ Robertson

1978 PD Leschen

2014 S Martin

1943 R Brokenshire

1979 NS Coates

2015 J Stahlhut

1944 AF Sallman

1980 RG Morrison

2016

1945 DW Leach

1981 RJ Ingram

2017

1946 RB Nunn

1982 PL Lipsett

2018

1947 PM Cumming

1983 MA Harling

2019

1948 FO Eliason

1984 CJ Gaudie

2020

1949 TA Dadswell

1985 MC Warren

2021

1950 MW Hudson

1986 JF Blake

2022

1951 RM Baird

1987 JR Simpson

2023


The inaugural winner of the King's Gold Medal, Midshipman WL 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 GJB 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 JM 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 MA Hudson receiving the Queen's Gold Medal from Sir John Kerr in 1974.

1984 Winner Lieutenant CJ Gaudie, RAN

1984 Winner Lieutenant CJ Gaudie, RAN.
 
Lieutenant Arno Tielens receives the Queen's Gold Medal for Trainee Officer of the Year 2004 from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Also pictured is the Commanding Officer of HMAS ANZAC, Captain Richard Menhinick (centre), the Australian Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Chris Ritchie and his wife Julia.
Lieutenant Arno Tielens receives the Queen's Gold Medal for Trainee Officer of the Year 2004 from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Also pictured is the Commanding Officer of HMAS Anzac, Captain Richard Menhinick (centre), the Australian Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Chris Ritchie and his wife Julia.
 
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 TA Dadswell, AM, RAN (Retd) with the King's Medal he was awarded in 1949.