Wearing of Relatives Medals

As with many of you, Remembrance is a regular part of our year and it has never crossed my mind to wear the WW1 medals of my Great Grandfather.

However this year I have been given the rare honour of participating in the London event at the Cenotaph & my Grandfather has requested for me to wear Great Grandad’s Pip, Squeak & Wilfred on the right.

As with many who came out the otherside of WW1, my Great Grandad suffered with what today we would know as PTSD and on reflection if possible I would like to do this in his memory.

So the question is… is it possible? If so, what is the route to getting permission?

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Being at the Cenotaph in uniform will be an incredible occasion.

My understanding is that family medals cannot be worn in uniform, even over the right breast, and this can only take place in civilian attire. Finding the formal documentation for this has proven tough, but I have found an RN document stating this (paragraph 4419): https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/-/media/royal-navy-responsive/documents/reference-library/br-3-vol-1/chapter-44.pdf&sa=U&ved=2ahUKEwijxKec2dWBAxWggv0HHYasAkYQFnoECAcQAg&usg=AOvVaw01vKjvI8vkWdOReN9iRmD1


I’m pretty sure you are correct here. Again, no real reference, but this is what I have always known! @AlexCorbin will confirm I’m sure.

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I can’t reference it for you, but I’m pretty sure this really isn’t a thing, despite what most of us have been told at various times in our careers.

I totally get the reasons for people wanting to wear them. It seems noble to keep that memory alive. But they’re not our medals to wear.

This is a strong opinion, loosely held. I’ll obviously give way to a definitive reference immediately.


Ordinarialy I would be right there with you, not mine to wear.

The only thing that gave me pause was that it was my Gramps who did the asking. He had a hard childhood, raised by a hard man, shaped by his experiences.

For him those medals represent a whole lifetime of memories and I think having me wear them at that place brings it all full circle for him.

So for me, on this one occasion if I can I will - but after that never again.

If you explain to him that the dress regulations don’t allow it, but you’ll be wearing them inside your jacket, would that make him happy? His dad will be there at the cenotaph still.


That is indeed the plan, one way or the other I will carry them with me.


Totally get what you’re saying. Understand where you’re coming from entirely.

Under the jacket/in the jacket pocket could be a neat way of getting around it.


AP1358 makes no mention of relatives’ medals, meaning it isn’t done in uniform.

The RBL has etiquette around wearing relatives’ medals, detailed here:

“The medals awarded to a deceased service/ex-service person may be worn on the right breast by a near relative. Near relative is Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Wife, Husband, Daughter, Son or Grandchild.”


Even then, if you have medals of your own you wear one group or the other — not both:

“No more than one group should be worn by any individual.”

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Correct. Its also covered in JSP761, extract below


Cheers @AlexCorbin & thank you all for taking the time to reply!


I know of people who keep them in a pocket whilst parading. If that helps


I don’t know why but in my head overlapping started sooner than 7!

I always thought it started after five. @Horriblelittletechie will know.

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