Reverse of medal and ribbon
|Awarded by United Kingdom|
|Awarded for||extreme human endeavour against the appalling weather and conditions that exist in the Arctic and Antarctic|
|Order of Wear|
The Polar Medal is a medal awarded by the
The first polar award was called the Arctic Medal which was presented twice in the 19th century. The Admiralty issued the medal in 1857 for several expeditions, including the expedition to discover the fate of
HER Majesty having been graciously pleased to signify her commands that a Medal be granted to all persons, of every rank and class, who have been engaged in the several Expeditions to the Arctic Regions, whether of discovery or search, between the years 1818 and 1855, both inclusive. 
The second presentation of the Arctic Medal was to the crews of three ships
In 1904, the Polar Medal was inaugurated for members of
Until 1968, the Polar Medal was presented to anyone who participated in a polar expedition endorsed by the governments of any
The Medal may be conferred on those citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland who have personally made conspicuous contributions to the knowledge of Polar regions or who have rendered prolonged service of outstanding quality in support of acquisition of such knowledge and who, in either case, have undergone the hazards and rigours imposed by the Polar environment. The Medal may also be awarded in recognition of individual service of outstanding quality in support of the objectives of Polar expeditions, due account being taken of the difficulties overcome.
A total of 880 silver and 245 bronze medals have been issued for Antarctic expeditions. Another 73 silver medals have been issued for service in the Arctic.