The Order of Merit reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Order of Merit

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The Order of Merit (OM) is a British honorary institution. It was established in 1902 by King Edward VII as a reward for distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture.

The order is limited to twenty-four members, but additional foreigners may be added as "honourary members". The order is open to women; Florence Nightingale was the first of them, being appointed in 1907. Members are entitled to the post-nominal "OM". The badge has the appearance of a red Maltese Cross surmounted by a golden crown.

The Indian Order of Merit, recognizing individual bravery by Indian military persons, was originally called "Order of Merit" when established in 1837, and was renamed when the present-day Order was established.

Order of Merit medal of Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, displayed in the Royal Society, LondonEnlarge

Order of Merit medal of Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, displayed in the Royal Society, London

Current Members of the Order of Merit

Honorary members are in italics.

See Also