Companion of the Imperial Service Order

Editing a book recently, I discovered the award Companion of the Imperial Service Order. It was done away with during John Major’s time as Prime Minister, 1993, although the London Gazette of 11 January 2019 lists the award and its order of significance and in 2018 there were a few people who received the Imperial Service Medal – you’re not alone if you’re now confused…

Here are some people who received the Companion, but it was Maurice Gallagher who led me to this award, a man who had served in East Africa during World War 1 where he obtained the Distinguished Service Order for his work on the Uganda Railway. Having survived the Great War, he retired in 1923 and remained in Kenya where he died on 1 October 1926. A year later, his widow appealed to the Kenya National Assembly for a compassionate pension – the debate highlighting some of the financial challenges pensioners and others faced at the time. Intriguingly, in the discussion about whether to award his wife a pension or not, the award of the Imperial Service Order did not feature whilst his DSO did – at least in the heading.

An overview of British civil honours and those currently available was compiled in 2001 whilst the Military awards are overseen by the Ministry of Defence, and specifically here for World War 1 gallantry and bravery awards.




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