Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Founded by King George V in 1917 for services to the Empire at home, in India and the Dominions and Colonies. This is the most junior of all British Orders and is nowadays given to a very wide range of people, both civilians in all walks of life and service personnel, for valuable work in the social services, sport and entertainment and local government, and can be conferred on ladies as well as men.
The classes are:
G.B.E. Knight Grand Cross.
K.B.E. Knight Commander.
Neck badge : A cross patonce (three points on the end of each arm) in silver-gilt with the arms enamelled pearl-grey. In the centre is the figure of Britannia (or since 1936 the conjoined left-facing crowned busts of King George V and Queen Mary), surrounded by a circle enamelled crimson with the inscription 'FOR GOD AND THE EMPIRE'. The neck badge for CBE is a smaller version.
Breast star : An eight pointed star in chipped silver on which is superimposed the enamelled centre as on the neck badge.
Breast badge : A cross patonce in silver-gilt (OBE) or silver (MBE)
The ribbon is rose pink with narrow pearl grey edges. The design and ribbon colour were amended in 1937 and while the insignia for both military and civil divisions is the same, the ribbon for the former incorporates an extra, central, pearl grey stripe.