Established on 4 December 1854 during the Crimean War, the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) could only be awarded to Warrant Officers, NCO's, and other ranks. For non-commissioned personnel, it was a distinction second only to the Victoria Cross. A bar was awarded for a subsequent act of distinguished conduct in the field.
There were 2076 awards of the DCM for the Boer War.
During the Boer War, 6 dated second award bars were issued. Of these, three recipients won their first DCM in the Boer War. The recipients were:
- Andrews, 3502 Sergeant Frank Leon, 9th Lancers & 2nd Battalion Imperial Yeomanry. DCM LG 27 Sep 01, Bar LG 21 Apr 03, dated '27th September 1901', OBE LG 3 Jun 19.
- Crampion, 1313 Private C, 2nd Norfolk Regiment. DCM, 16 Oct 1889 for Upper Burma, Bar LG '29 March 1900' for Karee Sidings.
- Crookes, 4691 Staff Sergeant F, RAMC. DCM for Omdurman 2 Sep 98, bar 'February 1900' for Paardeberg LG 19 Apr 01.
- May, 25417 Corporal T J, 38th Field Company Royal Engineers. DCM LG 26 Jun 1902, Bar LG 21 Apr 03. Bar dated '1st July 1901'.
- Smith, 16821 Sergeant G, 24th Company Royal Engineers. DCM for Crete LG, 7 Mar 99, Bar dated 'January 1901' LG 27 Sep 1901 for South Africa.
- Worthing, 9738 Colour Sergeant Harry Evans, 4th Rifle Brigade. Bar dated '8th June 1901' DCM LG 26 Jul 1901, Bar LG 11 Mar 1902, for capture of Boer convoy at Rooival 8 Jun 1901. Miniature group to Worthing shown below (courtesy of DNW).
During the Boer War, 6 DCMs were awarded posthumously.
Between 1881 and 1900 it was not uncommon to append the date of the award to the recipient's name on the rim of the medal. Most DCMs issued during this period are dated although there are example of medals appearing without dates just as there are medals outside the range of dates which are dated. Most dates are in the format dd-mm-yy, for example, "23-2-00" but some are also dated in the earlier format of "2nd SEPT: 1889".
Naming is in plain block capitals.