Instituted in 1854 following the need to recognise gallant acts performed in the Crimea, although the MSM had previously been awarded for gallantry no award for gallantry actually existed before the outbreak of the Crimean War.
This - the first type issue - bears on the obverse a trophy of arms. Awards have always been issued named, and between 1881 until around 1901 also had the date of the particular act inscribed on the rim of the medal.
Bars were awarded for a subsequent award and during the period of this type of DCM carried the date of the act in raised letters.
The Victorian issue of this medal was awarded 800 times in the Crimean war.