Sacrifice Medal


The Sacrifice Medal (French: Médaille du sacrifice) is a decoration that was created in 2008 as a replacement for the Wound Stripe.[3] It is awarded by the Canadian monarch, usually by the Governor General of Canada, to members of the Canadian Forces or allied forces wounded or killed in action, and to members whose death under honourable circumstances is a result of injury or disease related directly to military service.[4]

Sacrifice Medal
Reverse of the Sacrifice Medal
Awarded forMembers of the Canadian Forces, an allied force, or a Canadian civilian under the authority of the Canadian Forces, died or been wounded under honourable circumstances in the line of service.
Presented byThe monarch of Canada
Canadian Coat of Arms Shield.svg
StatusCurrently awarded
Established29 August 2008
First awarded9 November 2009[1]
Total705 (as of 1 June 2012)[2]
Total awarded posthumouslyapprox 150
CAN Ribbon bar of the Sacrifice Medal.svg
Ribbon of the Sacrifice Medal
Next (higher)Royal Victorian Medal
Next (lower)Korea Medal


The Sacrifice Medal is in the form of a 37 millimetres (1.5 in) diameter silver disc topped by a St. Edward's Crown, symbolizing the Canadian monarch's role as the fount of honour.[5][6] On the obverse is an effigy of the reigning sovereign and Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces wearing a diadem of maple leaves and snowflakes, surrounded by the inscription ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA CANADA (Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, Queen of Canada). On the reverse is the word SACRIFICE alongside a depiction of the statue Mother Canada, one of Walter Seymour Allward's allegorical figures adorning the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. The recipient's name, along with his or her rank and service number for those in the military, is inscribed around the medal's edge.[4]

This medallion is worn at the left chest, suspended on a 31.8mm wide ribbon coloured with vertical stripes in purposefully sombre red (recalling spilled blood), black (symbolizing grief and loss), and white (representative of both hope and peace).[3] Should an individual already possessing a Sacrifice Medal be awarded the medal again for subsequent injuries, he or she is granted a medal bar—in silver with raised edges and bearing a maple leaf—for wear on the ribbon from which the original medal is suspended.[4]


On 29 August 2008, Queen Elizabeth II,[7] on the advice of her Cabinet under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, created the Sacrifice Medal to recognize any member of the Canadian Forces, soldier of an allied force, or a civilian working for the Canadian Forces, who after 7 October 2001 was killed or wounded under honourable circumstances and as a result of hostile action or perceived hostile action.[3][4] If not fatal, the wound received must be serious enough to require attention from a medic, and the treatment must have been recorded in the individual's medical file.[3] These tenets were later augmented when, on 19 October 2009, the Department of National Defence announced that all service related deaths would qualify for the Sacrifice Medal, whether as a result of direct hostile action or not.[6][8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Governor General to preside over the inaugural presentation of the Sacrifice Medal" (Press release). Queen's Printer for Canada. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
  2. ^ Defence, Government of Canada, National. "Sacrifice Medal (SM)".
  3. ^ a b c d Department of National Defence. "Medals in a Minute: The Sacrifice Medal". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d Office of the Governor General of Canada. "Honours > Medals > Sacrifice Medal". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  5. ^ Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "Honours and Recognition Programs > Canadian National Honours". Queen's Printer for Canada. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  6. ^ a b Department of National Defence. "DH&R Home > Canadian Honours Chart > Sacrifice Medal (SM)". Queen's Printer for Canada. Archived from the original on 14 November 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  7. ^ "Governor General announces the creation of a new military medal" (Press release). Queen's Printer for Canada. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  8. ^ "Sacrifice Medal to recognize all service-related deaths" (Press release). Queen's Printer for Canada. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2009.

External linksEdit

  • Department of National Defence. "Medals in a Minute: The Sacrifice Medal". Queen's Printer for Canada.
  • Robertson, Megan C. "C > Canada > Orders, Decorations and Medals of Canada > Sacrifice Medal".
  • "New military medal to honour combat casualties". CBC. 29 August 2008.