Instituted 15th June 1901 as the Conspicuous Service Cross and renamed in October 1914 the Distinguished Service Cross.
The D.S.C. was awarded to naval officers below the rank of Lieutenant Commander for gallantry at sea in the presence of the enemy. Almost 2,000 D.S.C.s were awarded during the First World War.
A bar is awarded for subsequent acts of gallantry. The recipient is entitled to use D.S.C. after their name.