Order of the British Empire

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This was the first democratic or meritocratic order and was established in June 1917 in the darkest days of the First World War. Though far less aristocratic than previous orders, it was nevertheless divided into five sections—the Knights Grand Cross, the Knights Commander, Commanders, Officers, and Members. Of equal significance was that a large number of women were, for the first time, admitted to honours.

Subjects: British History — Warfare and Defence.

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