The CSC was instituted in June 1901.  Its institution has its origins in a Memorial from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to the King, dated 15th June 1901.  The Commissioners argued that there should be "some means of recognising Distinguished Service before the Enemy on the part of Warrant officers and Subordinate Officers of Your Majesty's Fleet, who by reason of not holding a Commission in the Royal Navy, are not eligible for appointment to any existing Order or Decoration.  We beg leave to recommend that Your Majesty will be graciously pleased by Your Order in Council to institute a Decoration to be designated the Conspicuous Service Cross".  No one could be nominated who had not been mentioned in despatches.  On 14th October 1914, eligibility for the Cross was extended to Commissioned Officers below the rank of Lieutenant Commander and the award's name was changed to the Distinguished Service Cross.  A bar for subsequent acts of service before the enemy was instituted from 7th September 1916.

Mids T C Armstrong
Gunner E E Lowe
Gunner J Wright

Between 1901 and 1913, there were 8 awards of the CSC.  Of these, 6 were for the Boer War.

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 Surname   Forename   Rank   Notes   Unit 
ArmstrongThomas CharlesMidshipmanLondon Gazette: 2nd July 1901.  The first officer to receive the CSC.  Awarded for his action at Graspan.  Captain Marchant reported that "Lieutenants F Dean, G W McO Campbell, Sub Lieutenant Whyte (who was in charge of the ammunition supply) and Midshipman Armstrong, who were with the guns, behaved with great gallantry in a very exposed position". Armstrong  landed with the Naval brigade for the defence of Stormberg in October 1899, and served with the column under Lord Methuen.  He was noted for early promotion.HMS Powerful
HuddartC A EMidshipmanLondon Gazette: 2nd July 1901. Awarded for his action at Graspan. He was mentioned in despatches; "Midshipman Huddart behaved magnificently and still advanced after he had been twice wounded until he was finally struck down mortally wounded'. See his details here.HMS Doris
HutchinsonR B CMidshipmanLondon Gazette: 2nd July 1901. Sir R Buller's mentions for HMS Terrible include Midshipman Hutchinson. He served with the Naval Brigade during the Boer War and the operations on the Tugela 1899-1900. Captain Jones said "I must also mention Mr Hutchinson, midshipman, who has acted as my ADC. He has been most useful and hard working, often spending the greater part of the night finding his way across the difficult country with messages. He had many very narrow escapes". He received the Conspicuous Service Cross and was noted for early promotion. He was specially promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (with seniority 15 Sep 1902) for services during operations in South Africa. He served in the China War 1900 and was present at the capture of Tientsin (medal and relief of Pekin clasp).HMS Terrible
LoweErnest EdwardGunnerLondon Gazette: 2nd July 1901. The CSC was presented by the King in October 1901.
He was mentioned in Lord Methuen's dispatch of 25 November 1899; Lieutenants the Honourable E S H Boyle and F J Saunders, RMLI, Gunner Lowe and Midshipman W W Sillem, also charged to the top of the hill, gallantly leading their men all the time under a very heavy fire, and all are deserving of special mention. In his account of the services of the Naval Brigade at the capture of Pretoria, Captain Bearcroft praised Gunner Lowe "for zeal and energy shown in the keeping up an adequate supply of ammunition near the guns, and in looking after the safety of the remainder". Captain Bearcroft's final Mentions; "Mr Lowe, gunner (T); this officer has performed the duties of quartermaster to the brigade while landed with ability and untiring zeal and energy".
HMS Monarch
WardleT F J LMidshipmanLondon Gazette: 2nd July 1901. Awarded for his action at Graspan. He was mentioned in despatched "Midshipman Wardle also showed great gallantry, and remained with Major Plumbe and several dead and wounded men, and attended to them and dressed their wounds under fire". Captain Bearcroft's final Mentions; "Mr Wardle and Mr Denison, midshipmen; recommended for advancement when qualified".Unknown
WrightJosephGunnerLondon Gazette: 2nd July 1901. Awarded for South Africa and China. The CSC was presented by the King in October 1901. In Sir R Buller's despatch about Colenso of 17 December 1899, "Lieutenant Ogilvy, 'Tartar' and Gunner Wright, 'Terrible' particularly rendered excellent service". He was also mentioned for his work in the relief of Ladysmith, "I have already brought before your notice the conduct of Mr Wright, acting gunner, at the Battle of Colenso and I would further commend him to you for his constant zeal, ability and coolness under fire". Wright later served with the Naval Brigade in China.HMS Terrible

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