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.
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 M Dowd
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.
 

The Governor-General, Sir Paul Hasluck, speaking with Acting Sub-Lieutenant JR Lord, after presenting him with the 1968 Queen's Gold Medal.
 
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 off
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.

Vice Admiral Sir Victor Smith admires a Queen's Gold Medal awrded to Midshipman Alan John Graham following a promotion parade in 1972.
 
Cadet Midshipman MA Hudson receiving the Queen's Gold Medal from Sir John Kerr in 1974.
 

1977 Queen's Gold Medal winner Midshipman Guy James accepts his award from the Governor General Sir John Kerr.
 
Left: 1973 winner Lieutenant Commander JC Stanbury. Right: 1984 winner Lieutenant CJ Gaudie, RAN.
Left: 1973 winner Lieutenant Commander JC Stanbury. Right: 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.
Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN, Chief of Navy presents Sub Lieutenant Boman Trezise RAN, with Her Majesty the Queen's 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.
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.
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.
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.