Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces. It may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two-thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.

The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then, the medal has been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individual recipients. Only 15 medals, 11 to members of the British Army, and four to the Australian Army, have been awarded since the Second World War. The traditional explanation of the source of the metal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the Siege of Sevastopol. However, research has suggested another origin for the material.[4] Historian John Glanfield has established that the metal for most of the medals made since December 1914 came from two Chinese cannon, and that there is no evidence of Russian origin.[5]

Owing to its rarity, the VC is highly prized and the medal has fetched over £400,000 at auction.[6] A number of public and private collections are devoted to the Victoria Cross. The private collection of Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains over one-tenth of all VCs awarded. Following a 2008 donation to the Imperial War Museum, the Ashcroft collection went on public display alongside the museum's Victoria and George Cross collection in November 2010.[7]

Beginning with the Centennial of Confederation in 1967, Canada,[8] followed in 1975 by Australia[9] and New Zealand,[10] developed their own national honours systems, separate from and independent of the British or Imperial honours system. As each country's system evolved, operational gallantry awards were developed with the premier award of each system—the Victoria Cross for Australia, the Canadian Victoria Cross and the Victoria Cross for New Zealand—being created and named in honour of the Victoria Cross. These are unique awards of each honours system, recommended, assessed, gazetted and presented by each country.

Victoria Cross
A bronze cross pattée bearing the crown of Saint Edward surmounted by a lion with the inscription FOR VALOUR. A crimson ribbon is attached
Obverse of the cross; ribbon: 1½" (38 mm), crimson (blue ribbon for naval awards 1856–1918)
Awarded by
Monarch of the United Kingdom
TypeMilitary decoration
EligibilityPersons of any rank in the Naval, Military and Air Forces of the United Kingdom, its colonies or territories, and Commonwealth countries that award UK honours; members of the Merchant Navy; and civilians serving under the orders, directions or supervision of any of the above-mentioned forces or services.[1]
Awarded for"... most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy."[2]
StatusCurrently awarded.
DescriptionBronze Cross pattée with Crown and Lion Superimposed, and motto: 'For Valour'
ClaspsBars can be awarded for further acts of valour
Post-nominalsVC
Statistics
Established29 January 1856
First awarded26 June 1857
Last awarded26 February 2015
Total awarded1,358
Distinct
recipients
1,355
Order of Wear
Next (higher)None
Next (lower)George Cross[3]
UK Victoria Cross ribbon bar

Ribbon bar
Victoria Cross, second award bar

Second award bar

Origin

In 1854, after 39 years of peace, Britain found itself fighting a major war against Russia. The Crimean War was one of the first wars with modern reporting, and the dispatches of William Howard Russell described many acts of bravery and valour by British servicemen that went unrewarded.[11]

Before the Crimean War, there was no official standardised system for recognition of gallantry within the British armed forces. Officers were eligible for an award of one of the junior grades of the Order of the Bath and brevet promotions while a Mention in Despatches existed as an alternative award for acts of lesser gallantry. This structure was very limited; in practice awards of the Order of the Bath were confined to officers of field rank.[12] Brevet promotions or Mentions in Despatches were largely confined to those who were under the immediate notice of the commanders in the field, generally members of the commander's own staff.[13]

Other European countries had awards that did not discriminate against class or rank; France awarded the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour, established 1802) and The Netherlands gave the Order of William (established in 1815). There was a growing feeling among the public and in the Royal Court that a new award was needed to recognise incidents of gallantry that were unconnected with the length or merit of a man's service. Queen Victoria issued a Warrant under the Royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856[11][14] (gazetted 5 February 1856)[14] that officially constituted the VC. The order was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour during the Crimean War.[15]

Queen Victoria had instructed the War Office to strike a new medal that would not recognise birth or class. The medal was meant to be a simple decoration that would be highly prized and eagerly sought after by those in the military services.[16] To maintain its simplicity, Queen Victoria, under the guidance of Prince Albert, vetoed the suggestion that the award be called The Military Order of Victoria and instead suggested the name Victoria Cross. The original warrant stated that the Victoria Cross would only be awarded to officers and men who had served in the presence of the enemy and had performed some signal act of valour or devotion.[17] The first ceremony was held on 26 June 1857 at which Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park, London.[11]

Manufacture

A single company of jewellers, Hancocks of London, has been responsible for the production of every VC awarded since its inception.[18]

It has long been widely believed that all the VCs were cast from the cascabels of two cannon that were captured from the Russians at the siege of Sevastopol.[19][20][18] However, in 1990 Creagh and Ashton conducted a metallurgical examination of the VCs in the custody of the Australian War Memorial,[21][22] and later the historian John Glanfield wrote that, through the use of X-ray studies of older Victoria Crosses, it was determined that the metal used for almost all VCs since December 1914 is taken from antique Chinese guns, replacing an earlier gun.[4][20][18][23] Creagh noted the existence of Chinese inscriptions on the cannon, which are now barely legible due to corrosion.[21] A likely explanation is that these cannon were taken as trophies during the First Opium War and held in the Woolwich repository.

It was also thought that some medals made during the First World War were composed of metal captured from different Chinese guns during the Boxer Rebellion. This is not so, however. The VCs examined by Creagh and Ashton[21][22] both in Australia (58) and at the QE II Army Memorial Museum in New Zealand (14)[21] spanned the entire time during which VCs have been issued and no compositional inconsistencies were found.[21] It was also believed that another source of metal was used between 1942 and 1945 to create five Second World War VCs when the Sevastopol metal "went missing".[4] Creagh accessed the Army records at MoD Donnington in 1991 and did not find any gaps in the custodial record.[21] The composition found in the WW2 VCs, amongst them those for Edwards (Australia) and Upham (New Zealand), is similar to that for the early WW1 medals. This is likely to be due to the reuse of material from earlier pourings, casting sprues, defective medals, etc.

The barrels of the Chinese cannon are on display at Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum at Woolwich. The remaining portion of the only remaining cascabel, weighing 358 oz (10 kg), is stored in a vault maintained by 15 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps at MoD Donnington. It can only be removed under armed guard. It is estimated that approximately 80 to 85 more VCs could be cast from this source.[4]

Appearance

Holland VC f&b
The front and back of Edward Holland's VC.

The decoration is a bronze cross pattée, 1 39/64" (41 mm) high, 1 27/64" (36 mm) wide, bearing the crown of Saint Edward surmounted by a lion, and the inscription FOR VALOUR.[24] This was originally to have been FOR THE BRAVE, until it was changed on the recommendation of Queen Victoria, as it implied that not all men in battle were brave.[20] The decoration, suspension bar and link weigh about 0.87 troy ounces (27 g).[25]

The cross is suspended by a ring from a seriffed "V" to a bar ornamented with laurel leaves, through which the ribbon passes. The reverse of the suspension bar is engraved with the recipient's name, rank, number and unit.[16] On the reverse of the medal is a circular panel on which the date of the act for which it was awarded is engraved in the centre.[16]

The Original Warrant Clause 1 states that the Victoria Cross "shall consist of a Maltese cross of bronze".[24] Nonetheless, it has always been a cross pattée; the discrepancy with the Warrant has never been corrected.[26]

The ribbon is crimson, 1 1/2 " (38 mm) wide. The original (1856) specification for the award stated that the ribbon should be red for army recipients and dark blue for naval recipients.[27] However the dark blue ribbon was abolished soon after the formation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918. On 22 May 1920 King George V signed a warrant that stated all recipients would now receive a red ribbon and the living recipients of the naval version were required to exchange their ribbons for the new colour.[28] Although the army warrants state the colour as being red, it is defined by most commentators as being crimson or "wine-red".[29]

Since 1917 a miniature of the Cross has been affixed to the centre of the ribbon bar when worn without the Cross. In the event of a second award bar, a second replica is worn alongside the first.[26]

Award process

William johnstone victoria cross
The obverse of William Johnstone's VC showing the dark blue ribbon for pre-1918 awards to naval personnel.

The Victoria Cross is awarded for

... most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.[2]

A recommendation for the VC is normally issued by an officer at regimental level, or equivalent, and has to be supported by three witnesses, although this has been waived on occasion.[30] The recommendation is then passed up the military hierarchy until it reaches the Secretary of State for Defence. The recommendation is then laid before the monarch who approves the award with his or her signature. Victoria Cross awards are always promulgated in the London Gazette with the single exception of the award to the American Unknown Soldier in 1921.[31] The Victoria Cross warrant makes no specific provision as to who should actually present the medals to the recipients. Queen Victoria indicated that she would like to present the medals in person and she presented 185 medals out of the 472 gazetted during her reign. Including the first 62 medals presented at a parade in Hyde Park on 26 June 1857 by Queen Victoria, nearly 900 awards have been personally presented to the recipient by the reigning British monarch. Nearly 300 awards have been presented by a member of the royal family or by a civil or military dignitary. About 150 awards were either forwarded to the recipient or next of kin by registered post or no details of the presentations are known.[32]

The original Royal Warrant did not contain a specific clause regarding posthumous awards, although official policy was not to award the VC posthumously. Between the Indian Mutiny in 1857 and the beginning of the Second Boer War the names of six officers and men were published in the London Gazette with a memorandum stating they would have been awarded the Victoria Cross had they survived. A further three notices were published in the London Gazette in September 1900 and April 1901 for gallantry in the Second Boer War. In an exception to policy for the Boer War, six posthumous Victoria Crosses, three to those mentioned in the notices in 1900 and 1901 and a further three, were granted on 8 August 1902, the first official posthumous awards.[33][a] Five years later in 1907, the posthumous policy was reversed for earlier wars, and medals were sent to the next of kin of the six officers and men whose names were mentioned in notices in the Gazette dating back to the Indian Mutiny.[34] The Victoria Cross warrant was not amended to explicitly allow posthumous awards until 1920, but one quarter of all awards for World War I were posthumous.[35][36]

The process and motivations of selecting the medal's recipients has sometimes been interpreted as inconsistent or overly political. The most common observation being that the Victoria Cross may be given more often for engagements that senior military personal would like to publicly promote.[37][38] Also, although the 1920 Royal Warrant made provision for awards to women serving in the Armed Forces, no woman has been awarded a VC.[b][40]

In the case of a gallant and daring act being performed by a squadron, ship's company or a detached body of men (such as marines) in which all men are deemed equally brave and deserving of the Victoria Cross then a ballot is drawn. The officers select one officer, the NCOs select one individual and the private soldiers or seamen select two individuals.[41] In all 46 awards have been awarded by ballot with 29 of the awards during the Indian Mutiny. Four further awards were granted to Q Battery, Royal Horse Artillery at Korn Spruit on 31 March 1900 during the Second Boer War. The final ballot awards for the army were the six awards to the Lancashire Fusiliers at W Beach during the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 although three of the awards were not gazetted until 1917. The final seven ballot awards were the only naval ballot awards with three awards to two Q-Ships in 1917 and four awards for the Zeebrugge Raid in 1918. The provision for awards by ballot is still included in the Victoria Cross warrant but there have been no further such awards since 1918.[30]

Between 1858 and 1881 the Victoria Cross could be awarded for actions taken "under circumstances of extreme danger" not in the face of the enemy.[42] Six such awards were made during this period—five of them for a single incident during an Expedition to the Andaman Islands in 1867.[43] In 1881, the criteria were changed again and the VC was only awarded for acts of valour "in the face of the enemy".[43] Due to this it has been suggested by many historians including Lord Ashcroft that the changing nature of warfare will result in fewer VCs being awarded.[44]

Colonial awards

The Victoria Cross was extended to colonial troops in 1867. The extension was made following a recommendation for gallantry regarding colonial soldier Major Charles Heaphy for action in the New Zealand land wars in 1864.[45] He was operating under British command and the VC was gazetted in 1867. Later that year, the Government of New Zealand assumed full responsibility for operations but no further recommendations for the Victoria Cross were raised for local troops who distinguished themselves in action.[46] Following gallant actions by three New Zealand soldiers in November 1868 and January 1869 during the New Zealand land wars, an Order in Council on 10 March 1869 created a "Distinctive Decoration" for members of the local forces without seeking permission from the Secretary of State for the Colonies.[47] Although the governor was chided for exceeding his authority, the Order in Council was ratified by the Queen. The title "Distinctive Decoration" was later replaced by the title New Zealand Cross.[46]

The question of whether awards could be made to colonial troops not serving with British troops was raised in South Africa in 1881. Surgeon John McCrea, an officer of the South African forces was recommended for gallantry during hostilities which had not been approved by the British Government. He was awarded the Victoria Cross and the principle was established that gallant conduct could be rewarded independently of any political consideration of military operations. More recently, four Australian soldiers were awarded the Victoria Cross in Vietnam although Britain was not involved in the conflict.[48]

Indian troops were not originally eligible for the Victoria Cross since they had been eligible for the Indian Order of Merit since 1837 which was the oldest British gallantry award for general issue. When the Victoria Cross was created, Indian troops were still controlled by the Honourable East India Company and did not come under Crown control until 1860. European officers and men serving with the Honourable East India Company were not eligible for the Indian Order of Merit and the Victoria Cross was extended to cover them in October 1857. It was only at the end of the 19th century that calls for Indian troops to be awarded the Victoria Cross intensified. Indian troops became eligible for the award in 1911. The first awards to Indian troops appeared in the London Gazette on 7 December 1914 to Darwan Sing Negi and Khudadad Khan. Negi was presented with the Victoria Cross by King George V during a visit to troops in France. The presentation occurred on 5 December 1914 and he is one of a very few soldiers presented with his award before it appeared in the London Gazette.[49]

Separate Commonwealth awards

VCstone
Victoria Cross as it appears on Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstones.

Since the Second World War, most but not all Commonwealth countries have created their own honours systems and no longer participate in the British honours system. This began soon after the Partition of India in 1947, when the new countries of India and Pakistan introduced their own systems of awards. The VC was replaced by the Param Vir Chakra (PVC) and Nishan-e-Haider (NH) respectively. Most if not all new honours systems continued to permit recipients of British honours to wear their awards according to the rules of each nation's order of wear. Sri Lanka, whose defence personnel were eligible to receive the Victoria Cross until 1972, introduced its own equivalent, the Parama Weera Vibhushanaya medal. Three Commonwealth realms—Australia, Canada and New Zealand[50]—have each introduced their own decorations for gallantry and bravery, replacing British decorations such as the Victoria Cross with their own. The only Commonwealth countries that still can recommend the VC are the small nations, none of whose forces have ever been awarded the VC, that still participate in the British honours system.[51]

With effect from 6 April 1952, when the Union of South Africa instituted its own range of military decorations and medals, these new awards took precedence before all earlier British decorations and medals awarded to South Africans, with the exception of the Victoria Cross, which still took precedence before all other awards. The other older British awards continued to be worn in the order prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood.[3][52][53]

Australia was the first Commonwealth realm to create its own VC, on 15 January 1991. Although it is a separate award, its appearance is identical to its British counterpart.[54] Canada followed suit when in 1993 Queen Elizabeth signed Letters Patent creating the Canadian VC, which is also similar to the British version, except that the legend has been changed from FOR VALOUR to the Latin PRO VALORE This language was chosen so as to favour neither French nor English, the two official languages of Canada.[55] New Zealand was the third country to adapt the VC into its own honours system. While the New Zealand and Australian VCs are technically separate awards, the decoration is identical to the British design, including being cast from the same Crimean War gunmetal as the British VC.[50][54] The Canadian Victoria Cross also includes metal from the same cannon, along with copper and other metals from all regions of Canada.[56]

Five of the separate VCs have so far been awarded. Willie Apiata received the Victoria Cross for New Zealand on 2 July 2007, for his actions in the War in Afghanistan in 2004. The Victoria Cross for Australia has been awarded four times. Mark Donaldson was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia on 16 January 2009 for actions during Operation Slipper, the Australian contribution to the War in Afghanistan.[57] Ben Roberts-Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia on 23 January 2011 for actions in the Shah Wali Kot Offensive, part of the War in Afghanistan.[58] Daniel Keighran was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia on 1 November 2012 for his actions during the Battle of Derapet in Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan, on 24 August 2010.[59] A posthumous award was made to Corporal Cameron Baird for actions in Afghanistan in 2013. A Canadian version has been cast that was originally to be awarded to the Unknown Soldier at the rededication of the Vimy Memorial on 7 April 2007. This date was chosen as it was the 90th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge but pressure from veterans' organisations caused the plan to be dropped.[60]

Authority and privileges

As the highest award for valour of the United Kingdom, the Victoria Cross is always the first award to be presented at an investiture, even before knighthoods, as was shown at the investiture of Private Johnson Beharry, who received his medal before General Sir Mike Jackson received his knighthood.[19] Owing to its status, the VC is always the first decoration worn in a row of medals and it is the first set of post-nominal letters used to indicate any decoration or order.[51] Similar acts of extreme valour that do not take place in the face of the enemy are honoured with the George Cross (GC), which has equal precedence but is awarded second because the GC is newer.[61]

There is a widespread though erroneous belief that it is statutory for "all ranks to salute a bearer of the Victoria Cross". There is no official requirement that appears in the official Warrant of the VC, nor in Queen's Regulations and Orders, but tradition dictates that this occurs and as such senior officers will salute a private awarded a VC or GC.[61]

As there was no formal order of wear laid down,[62] the Victoria Cross was at first worn as the recipient fancied. It was popular to pin it on the left side of the chest over the heart, with other decorations grouped around the VC. The Queen's Regulations for the Army of 1881 gave clear instructions on how to wear it; the VC had to follow the badge of the Order of the Indian Empire. In 1900 it was ordained in Dress Regulations for the Army that it should be worn after the cross of a Member of the Royal Victorian Order. It was only in 1902 that King Edward VII gave the cross its present position on a bar brooch.[63] The cross is also worn as a miniature decoration on a brooch or a chain with mess jacket, white tie or black tie. As a bearer of the VC is not a Companion in an Order of Chivalry, the VC has no place in a coat of arms.[64]

Annuity

The original warrant stated that NCOs and private soldiers or seamen on the Victoria Cross Register were entitled to a £10 per annum annuity.[65] In 1898, Queen Victoria raised the pension to £50 for those that could not earn a livelihood, be it from old age or infirmity.[66] Today holders of the Victoria Cross or George Cross are entitled to an annuity, the amount of which is determined by the awarding government. Since 2015, the annuity paid by the British Government is £10,000 per year.[67] This is exempted from tax for British taxpayers by Section 638 Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, along with pensions or annuities from other awards for bravery.[68] In Canada under the Gallantry Awards Order, members of the Canadian Forces or people who joined the British forces before 31 March 1949 while domiciled in Canada or Newfoundland receive Can$3,000 per year.[69] Under Subsection 103.4 of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986, the Australian Government provides a Victoria Cross Allowance.[70] Until November 2005 the amount was A$3,230 per year. Since then this amount has been increased annually in line with the Australian Consumer Price Index.[71][72]

Forfeited awards

The original Royal Warrant involved an expulsion clause that allowed for a recipient's name to be erased from the official register in certain wholly discreditable circumstances and his pension cancelled.[73] Eight were forfeited between 1861 and 1908.

King George V felt very strongly that the decoration should never be forfeited and in a letter from his Private Secretary, Lord Stamfordham, on 26 July 1920, his views are forcefully expressed:

The King feels so strongly that, no matter the crime committed by anyone on whom the VC has been conferred, the decoration should not be forfeited. Even were a VC to be sentenced to be hanged for murder, he should be allowed to wear his VC on the scaffold.[31]

The power to cancel and restore awards is still included in the Victoria Cross warrant.[74] The last award to be forfeited was in 1908 and none have been restored.[75]

Recipients

StormingSikandarBagh
The 93rd Highlanders storming Sikandar Bagh. National Army Museum, London (NAM 1987-06-12)

A total of 1,358 Victoria Crosses have been awarded since 1856 to 1,355 men.[76] There are several statistics related to the greatest number of VCs awarded in individual battles or wars. The greatest number of Victoria Crosses awarded for a single day was 24 for deeds performed during the Indian Mutiny on 16 November 1857, 23 for deeds at Lucknow and one by Francis David Millet Brown for action at Narnoul, south of Delhi.[77] The greatest number won by a single unit during a single action is seven, to the 2nd/24th Foot, for the defence of Rorke's Drift, 22–23 January 1879, during the Zulu War.[78] The greatest number won in a single conflict is 628, being for the First World War.[79] There are five living holders of the VC—one RAF (WW2), three British Army (Confrontation, Iraq and Afghanistan) and one Australian Army (Vietnam). Eight of the then-twelve surviving holders of the Victoria Cross attended the 150th Anniversary service of remembrance at Westminster Abbey on 26 June 2006.[80] In the 1990s, Australia and New Zealand created their own highest award with both named in honour of the British Victoria Cross. There are three living recipients of the Victoria Cross for Australia and one living recipient of the Victoria Cross for New Zealand.

In 1921, the British Unknown Warrior was awarded the US Medal of Honor and reciprocally the Victoria Cross was presented to the American Unknown Soldier of the First World War.[81] This is the only ungazetted VC award and is included in the total of 1,358 awards.

Three people have been awarded the VC and Bar, the bar representing a second award of the VC. They are: Noel Chavasse and Arthur Martin-Leake, both doctors in the Royal Army Medical Corps, for rescuing wounded under fire; and New Zealander Charles Upham, an infantryman, for combat actions.[82] Upham remains the only combatant soldier to have received a VC and Bar. An Irishman, Surgeon General William Manley, remains the sole recipient of both the Victoria Cross and the Iron Cross. The VC was awarded for his actions during the Waikato-Hauhau Maori War, New Zealand on 29 April 1864 while the Iron Cross was awarded for tending the wounded during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71.[83] Royal New Zealand Air Force Flying Officer Lloyd Trigg has the distinction of being the only serviceman ever awarded a VC on evidence solely provided by the enemy, for an action in which there were no surviving Allied witnesses.[84] The recommendation was made by the captain of the German U-boat U-468 sunk by Trigg's aircraft. Lieutenant Commander Gerard Roope was also awarded a VC on recommendation of the enemy, the captain of the Admiral Hipper, but there were also numerous surviving Allied witnesses to corroborate his actions.[85]

Since the end of the Second World War the original VC has been awarded 15 times: four in the Korean War, one in the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation in 1965, four to Australians in the Vietnam War, two during the Falklands War in 1982, one in the Iraq War in 2004, and three in the War in Afghanistan for actions in 2006, 2012 and 2013.[81][86][87][88]

In 1856, Queen Victoria laid a Victoria Cross beneath the foundation stone of Netley Military hospital.[89] When the hospital was demolished in 1966 the VC, known as "The Netley VC", was retrieved and is now on display in the Army Medical Services Museum, Mytchett, near Aldershot. This VC is not counted in official statistics.[89]

Public sales

Since 1879, more than 300 Victoria Crosses have been publicly auctioned or advertised. Others have been privately sold. The value of the VC can be seen by the increasing sums that the medals reach at auction. In 1955 the set of medals awarded to Edmund Barron Hartley was bought at Sotheby's for the then record price of £300 (approximately £7700 in present-day terms[90]). In October 1966 the Middlesex Regiment paid a new record figure of £900 (approximately £16500 in present-day terms[90]) for a VC awarded after the Battle of the Somme. In January 1969, the record reached £1700 (£27500[90]) for the medal set of William Rennie.[91] In April 2004 the VC awarded in 1944 to Sergeant Norman Jackson, RAF, was sold at auction for £235,250.[92][93] On 24 July 2006, an auction at Bonhams in Sydney of the VC awarded to Captain Alfred Shout fetched a world record hammer price of A$1 million (approximately £410,000 at then exchange rates).[6] In November 2009, it was reported that almost £1.5 million was paid to St Peter's College, Oxford by Lord Ashcroft for the VC and bar awarded to Noel Chavasse.[94] Vice Admiral Gordon Campbell's medal group, including the VC he received for actions while in command of HMS Farnborough, was reportedly sold for a record £840,000.[95]

Thefts

Several VCs have been stolen and, being valuable, have been placed on the Interpol watch-list for stolen items.[96] The VC awarded to Milton Gregg, which was donated to the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum in London, Ontario Canada in 1979, was stolen on Canada Day (1 July 1980), when the museum was overcrowded[97] and has been missing since. A VC awarded in 1917 to Canadian soldier Corporal Filip Konowal[98] was stolen from the same museum in 1973 and was not recovered until 2004.[99]

On 2 December 2007, nine VCs were among 100 medals stolen from locked, reinforced glass cabinets at the QEII Army Memorial Museum in Waiouru, New Zealand, with a value of around NZD$20 million. Charles Upham's VC and Bar was among these.[100] A reward of NZ$300,000 was posted for information leading to the recovery of the decorations and conviction of the thieves, although at the time there was much public debate about the need to offer reward money to retrieve the medals.[101] On 16 February 2008 New Zealand Police announced all the medals had been recovered.[102][103]

Collections

Ashcroft collection

The VC collection of businessman and politician Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains 162 medals, over one-tenth of all VCs awarded. It is the largest collection of such decorations. In July 2008 it was announced that Ashcroft was to donate £5 million for a permanent gallery at the Imperial War Museum where the 50 VCs held by the museum will be put on display alongside his collection.[104] The Lord Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum opened on 12 November 2010 containing a total of 210 VCs and 31 GCs.[7]

Australian War Memorial

Prior to November 2010, the largest collection of VCs on public display was held by the Australian War Memorial, whose collection includes all nine VCs awarded to Australians at Gallipoli. Of the 100 medals awarded to Australians (96 VCs, and 4 VCs for Australia), this collection contains around 70 medals, including 3 medals awarded to British soldiers (Grady, 1854; Holbrook, 1914; and Whirlpool, 1858), and 3 of the VCs for Australia (Donaldson, 2008; Keighran, 2010; and Roberts-Smith, 2010).[105]

List of collections

Museums with holdings of ten or more VCs include:[106][107]

In the UK
Museum Location Number
of VCs
Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum North Lambeth, London 210
The National Army Museum Chelsea, London 39
The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum Winchester, Hampshire 34
The Royal Engineers Museum Gillingham, Kent 26
The Army Medical Services Museum Mytchett, Surrey 22
Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum Woolwich, London 20
The Queen's Own Highlanders Museum Fort George, Inverness-shire 16
The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh Brecon, Wales 16
The Green Howards Regimental Museum Richmond, Yorkshire 15
The Royal Fusiliers Museum Tower of London 12
The Gordon Highlanders Museum Aberdeen 12
The National Maritime Museum Greenwich, London 11
The National War Museum Edinburgh Castle 11
The RAF Museum Hendon, London 11
The Sherwood Foresters Museum Nottingham 11
The Gurkha Museum Winchester, Hampshire 10
The Royal Marines Museum Portsmouth, Hampshire 10
The Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum Caernarfon Castle, Wales 10
Outside the UK
Australian War Memorial Canberra, Australia ~70[108]
Canadian War Museum Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 33
QEII Army Memorial Museum Waiouru, New Zealand 11

(note 1 = Many VCs are on loan to the museums and are owned by individuals and not owned by the museums themselves.)[106]

Other

Memorials

In 2004 a national Victoria Cross and George Cross memorial was installed in Westminster Abbey close to the tomb of the Unknown Warrior.[109] Westminster Abbey contains monuments and memorials to central figures in British History including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and James VI & I. It was a significant honour for the VC to be commemorated there.[110] One VC recipient, Lord Henry Percy, is buried, within a family vault, in the Abbey.[111]

Canon William Lummis, MC, was a military historian who built up an archive on the service records and final resting places of Victoria Cross holders.[112] This was then summarised into a pamphlet which was taken to be an authoritative source on these matters. However, Lummis was aware of short-comings in his own work and encouraged David Harvey to continue it. The result was Harvey's seminal book Monuments to Courage. In 2007 the Royal Mail used material from Lummis' archives to produce a collection of stamps commemorating Victoria Cross recipients.[113]

It is a tradition within the Australian Army for soldiers' recreational clubs on military bases to be named after a particular recipient of the Victoria Cross.[114] Australia has a unique means of remembering recipients of the Victoria Cross. Remembrance Drive is a path through city streets and highways linking Sydney and Canberra. Trees were planted in February 1954 by Queen Elizabeth II in a park near Sydney Harbour and at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, marking either end of the route, with various plantations along the roadsides in memory of the fallen. Beginning in 1995, 23 rest stop memorials named for Australian recipients of the VC from World War II onwards have been sited along the route, providing picnic facilities and public amenities to encourage drivers to take a break on long drives. 23 of the 26 memorial sites have been dedicated, with a further three reserved for the surviving VC recipients, including two of the newer Victoria Cross for Australia awards. Edward Kenna, VC, was honoured with the most recent rest stop on 16 August 2012, having died in 2009.[115]

In art

The subject of soldiers earning the VC has been popular with artists since the medal's inception. Notable are the fifty paintings by Louis William Desanges that were painted in the late 1850s and early 1860s. Many of these were exhibited at the Egyptian Gallery in Piccadilly, but in 1900, they were brought together by Lord Wantage as the Victoria Cross Gallery and exhibited in the town of Wantage, at that time in Berkshire. Later the collection was broken up and many of the paintings were sent to the various regiments depicted. Some were damaged or destroyed.[116] A number of the acts were also portrayed in a Second World War propaganda pamphlet, and the images commissioned by the Ministry of Information are presented in an online gallery available on the website of The National Archives.[117] In 2016, portrait photographer Rory Lewis was commissioned by the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association to hold portrait sittings with all the living Victoria Cross and George Cross recipients.[118]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ On 8 August 1902, as a result of a revision in the War Office policy, posthumous awards of the Victoria Cross were allowed for officers and men who fell during the recent operation in the performance of acts of valour which would, in the opinion of the Commander in Chief, have entitled them to a Victoria Cross had they survived. The relevant recipients were:[33]
  2. ^ Elizabeth Webber Harris was presented with a replica gold VC by the 104th Bengal Fusiliers for her valour in nursing cholera-ridden soldiers in India in 1869.[39]
  1. ^ Special Army Order 65 of 1961, paragraph 6.
  2. ^ a b "Military Honours and Awards". Defence Internet. UK Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 30 January 2007.
  3. ^ a b "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3351.
  4. ^ a b c d Davies, Catriona (28 December 2005). "Author explodes myth of the gunmetal VC". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  5. ^ Glanfield (2005) pp. 24–35.
  6. ^ a b "The Victoria Cross ... awarded to Captain Alfred Shout have been sold at auction". Iain Stewart, Victoria Cross.org. Archived from the original on 25 June 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Press Release: The Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Extraordinary Heroes" (PDF). Imperial War Museum. 9 November 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
  8. ^ "The Canadian Honours System". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. 13 August 2013. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Australian Honours System". Archived from the original on 26 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  10. ^ "History". New Zealand Honours System. New Zealand Government. 1 April 2011. Archived from the original on 27 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Ashcroft (2006), preface.
  12. ^ Original Warrant Foreword: And, whereas, the third class of Our Most Honourable Order of the Bath is limited, except in very rare cases, to the higher ranks of both services, and the granting of Medals, both in Our Navy and Army, is only awarded for long service or meritorious conduct, rather than for bravery in action or distinction before an enemy.
  13. ^ British Gallantry Awards, p. 283.
  14. ^ a b "No. 21846". The London Gazette. 5 February 1856. pp. 410–411. The Gazette publishing the original Royal Warrant.
  15. ^ Ashcroft, Michael, p. 7–10.
  16. ^ a b c "The Victoria Cross". Vietnam Veterans of Australia. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2007.
  17. ^ Original Warrant, Clause 5:Fifthly. It is ordained that the Cross shall only be awarded to those officers and men who have served Us in the presence of the enemy, and shall have then performed some signal act of valour or devotion to their country.
  18. ^ a b c "The Victoria Cross". Hancocks of London. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018.
  19. ^ a b Beharry, Johnson p. 359.
  20. ^ a b c "150 years of the Victoria Cross". Royal Naval Museum. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  21. ^ a b c d e f Creagh, Dudley (1992). Charles Barrett, ed. Advances in X-ray Analysis Vol. 35. Plenum. pp. 1127–1132. ISBN 978-0-306-44249-0.
  22. ^ a b Creagh, Dudley; Ashton, John (1999). J. Fernandez, A. Tartari, ed. Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry. Editrice Compositori. pp. 299–305. ISBN 88-7794-195-2.
  23. ^ Glanfield (2005), pp. 24–35.
  24. ^ a b Original Warrant, Clause 1: Firstly. It is ordained that the distinction shall be styled and designated "The Victoria Cross", and shall consist of a Maltese cross of bronze, with our Royal crest in the centre, and underneath with an escroll bearing the inscription "For Valour".
  25. ^ Ashcroft, Michael, p. 16.
  26. ^ a b Abbott PE, Tamplin JMA, Chapter 44, p. 291.
  27. ^ Original warrant, Clause Two: Secondly. It is ordained that the Cross shall be suspended from the left breast by a blue riband for the Navy, and by a red riband for the Army.
  28. ^ "The Victoria Cross mentioned in newsletter" (PDF). Army Museum of Western Australia. 1 September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2007.
  29. ^ "The Victoria Cross". Imperial War Museum Exhibits and Firearms Collections. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2006.
  30. ^ a b Crook, MJ, Chapter 18, p. 204.
  31. ^ a b "Posthumous VCs". National Army Museum. Archived from the original on 16 July 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  32. ^ Pillinger, Dennis; Staunton, A, p. 73.
  33. ^ a b "No. 27462". The London Gazette. 8 August 1902. p. 5085.
  34. ^ "No. 27986". The London Gazette. 15 January 1907. p. 325.
  35. ^ Crook, MJ, Chapter 8 pp. 68–90.
  36. ^ "No. 31946". The London Gazette. 18 June 1920. p. 6702.
  37. ^ Mead, Gary (2015-05-07). Victoria's Cross: The Untold Story of Britain's Highest Award for Bravery. Atlantic Books. ISBN 9781782396383.
  38. ^ Edwardes, Charlotte (2003-10-18). "'Wrong men' given VCs at Rorke's Drift". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  39. ^ [1]
  40. ^ "The Victoria Cross". Imperial War Museum. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  41. ^ Original Warrant, Clause 13: Thirteenthly. It is ordained that in the event of a gallant and daring act having been performed by a squadron, ship's company, or detached body of seamen and marines not under fifty in number, or by a brigade, regiment, troop or company in which the admiral, general, or other officer commanding such forces may deem that all are equally brave and distinguished, and that no special selection can be made by them, then is such case the admiral, general, or other officer commanding, may direct that for any such body of seamen or marines, or for every troop or company of soldiers, one officer shall be selected by the officers engaged for the Decoration, and in like manner one petty officer or non-commissioned officer shall be selected by the petty officers and non-commissioned officers engaged, and two seamen or private soldiers or marines shall be selected by the seamen, or private soldiers, or marines engaged, respectively for the Decoration, and the names of those selected shall be transmitted by the senior officers in command of the Naval force, brigade, regiment, troop, or company, to the admiral or general officer commanding, who shall in due manner confer the Decoration as if the acts were done under his own eye.
  42. ^ Warrant Amendment dated 10 August 1858: subject to the rules and ordinances already made, on Officers and Men of Her Majesty's Naval and Military Services, who may perform acts of conspicuous courage and bravery under circumstances of extreme danger, such as the occurrence of a fire on board ship, or the foundering of a vessel at sea, or under any of the other circumstance in which, through the courage and devotion displayed, life or public property may be saved.
  43. ^ a b "VC background". British War Graves Memorial. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  44. ^ "Victoria Cross TV programme notes". fiveTV. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
  45. ^ "Charles heaphy biography". New Zealand Encyclopedia. 1966. Archived from the original on 15 August 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
  46. ^ a b Abbott PE, Tamplin JMA, Chapter 34, pp. 230–236.
  47. ^ "New Zealand Cross". New Zealand Encyclopedia. 1966. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
  48. ^ Crook, MJ, Chapter 19, pp. 242–251.
  49. ^ Crook, MJ, Chapter 11. pp. 117–125.
  50. ^ a b "New Zealand Honours". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Archived from the original on 7 December 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2007.
  51. ^ a b "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. pp. 3351–3355. The Gazette containing the most up-to-date Order of Precedence.
  52. ^ Government Notice no. 1982 of 1 October 1954 – Order of Precedence of Orders, Decorations and Medals, published in the Government Gazette of 1 October 1954.
  53. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981.
  54. ^ a b "The Victoria Cross for Australia". The Government of Australia. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  55. ^ CTV.ca, News staff (3 March 2007). "Top military honour now cast in Canada". CTV news. Archived from the original on 5 March 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2007.
  56. ^ "Pro Valore: Canada's Victoria Cross" (PDF). National Defence; Government of Canada. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  57. ^ "Australian SAS soldier Mark Donaldson awarded Victoria Cross". The Australian. News Limited. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  58. ^ "SAS digger awarded VC for taking on Taliban". Sydney Morning Herald. 23 January 2011. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  59. ^ "Corporal Daniel Keighran awarded the Victoria Cross". 1 November 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  60. ^ Teotonio, Isabel (7 March 2007). "Vets irate at Victoria Cross proposal". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2007.
  61. ^ a b "The world's most exclusive club". Ministry of Defence. 30 April 2007. Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  62. ^ The original Warrant and the Queen's Regulations for the Army prior to 1881 give no indication on how the decoration was to be worn alongside other medals.
  63. ^ Sir Ivan de la Bère, The Queen's Orders of Chivalry, 1964.
  64. ^ The complete book of Heraldry by Stephen Slater, 2002.
  65. ^ Original Warrant, Clause 14: It is ordained that every warrant officer, petty officer, seaman or marine, or non-commissioned officer, or soldier who shall have received the Cross, shall, from the date of the act by which the Decoration has been gained be entitled to a special pension of 10 pounds a year, and each additional bar conferred under Rule 4 on such warrant or petty officers, or non-commissioned officers or men, shall carry with it an additional pension of 5 pounds per annum.
  66. ^ Warrant Amendment 1898-07-1898 ... authorize the increase of the Victoria Cross pension from 10 pounds to 50 pounds per annum, the condition to be satisfied in such cases being inability to earn a livelihood, in consequence of age or infirmity occasioned by causes beyond an Annuitant's control.
  67. ^ "George Osborne to raise Victoria Cross and George Cross payments to £10,000". Archived from the original on 10 September 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  68. ^ "Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, c. 1, Part 9, Chapter 17, Section 638". legislation.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  69. ^ "Canadian Gallantry Awards Order". Canadian Legal Information Institute. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  70. ^ "Veteran's Entitlement Act 1986". Australasian Legal Information Institute. Archived from the original on 21 May 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  71. ^ Australian Veteran's Entitlement Act 1986, Clause 103, Victoria Cross allowance granted to a veteran under this section is payable at the rate of A$3,230 per year. The amount fixed by this subsection is indexed annually in line with CPI increases. (accessdate=30 June 2007).
  72. ^ "Veteran's Entitlement Act 1986, Clause 198a,". Australasian Legal Information Institute. Archived from the original on 4 April 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  73. ^ Original Warrant Clause 15: Fifteenthly. In order to make such additional provision as shall effectually preserve pure this most honourable distinction, it is ordained that, if any person be convicted of treason, cowardice, felony, or of any infamous crime, or if he be accused of any such offence, and doth not after a reasonable time surrender himself to be tried for the same, his name shall forthwith be erased from the registry of individuals upon whom the said Decoration shall have been conferred, and by an especial Warrant under Our Royal Sign Manual, and the pension conferred under Rule 14 shall cease and determine from the date of such Warrant. It is hereby further declared, that We, Our Heirs and Given Successors, shall be the all judges of the circumstances requiring such expulsion; moreover, We shall at all times have power to restore such persons as may at any time have been expelled, both to the enjoyment of the Decoration and Pension.
  74. ^ 1920 warrant, article 12 Archived 9 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine, at Victoria Cross Rules (1856–1920), www.victoriacross.co.uk (retrieved 7 October 2016).
  75. ^ 'Forfeited VC myths' in the 27th Victoria Cross Society Journal published October 2015 (see [2]).
  76. ^ "The Victoria Cross factsheet". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 11 July 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2007. (The figure used in this article does not include the award to the American Unknown Soldier.)
  77. ^ Duckers, Peter (2005). The Victoria Cross. Shire Publications Ltd. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-7478-0635-6.
  78. ^ "The History of The Royal Welsh: Anglo-Zulu War 1879". The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh (Brecon). Archived from the original on 7 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015. For the same action four other VCs were awarded to members of other units.
  79. ^ Arthur, Max; pp. 185–371.
  80. ^ "Service of Remembrance Coverage". BBC. 26 June 2006. Archived from the original on 13 July 2006. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  81. ^ a b Victoria Cross Register.
  82. ^ Ashcroft, Michael, Introduction: A brief History of the VC (p. 14–18).
  83. ^ "Awards to Imperial Servicemen During the 2nd Maori War". New Zealand Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 7 July 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  84. ^ Ashcroft, Michael, p. 296–298, Information on Flying Officer Lloyd Allan Trigg.
  85. ^ Singh Gill, Himmat. "Of blood red in olive green". India Sunday Tribune. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  86. ^ "Operational Honours: VC and GC for acts of exceptional valour". MOD press release. 24 December 2006. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  87. ^ "Victoria Cross Award For L/Cpl James Ashworth". Sky News. 16 March 2013. Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  88. ^ "No. 61154". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 February 2015. p. 3466.
  89. ^ a b "Netley Hospital information". QARANC – Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. Archived from the original on 3 June 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  90. ^ a b c UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  91. ^ Bevis Hillier (22 January 1969). "£1,700 world record for a VC". Arts and Entertainment. The Times (57465). London. col F, p. 12.
  92. ^ "Gallipoli VC medal sets auction record". The Age. Melbourne. 24 July 2006. Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2007.
  93. ^ Table 3 "UK Sales 1881–2000", Pillinger and Staunton.
  94. ^ "Lord Ashcroft pays record price for 'ultimate' Victoria Cross". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  95. ^ "Royal Navy VC sells for world-record auction price". Royal Navy. 27 November 2017. Archived from the original on 9 December 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  96. ^ Stewart, Iain (18 August 2017). "Stolen Victoria Crosses". Victoria Cross.org. Archived from the original on 20 November 2005.
  97. ^ "Victoria Cross: Theft of the VC". solarnavigator.net. Archived from the original on 29 April 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
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  101. ^ Wall, Tony (20 February 2008). "Why gangland figure got our medals back". Stuff. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
  102. ^ "Stolen War Medals Recovered". New Zealand Police. 16 February 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
  103. ^ In Pakistan, too, speculation and controversy has long been afoot regarding the genuineness of the VC awarded to Khudadad Khan which is said to be on display at his native village of Dub, near Chakwal, since it is claimed that the original was stolen from the recipient in 1950 and never recovered and a copy/duplicate issued instead, which is the one now displayed. Whatever the truth may be, in early 2011 a VC for 1914 was advertised 'for confidential sale' on various sites, by a jeweller based in Haripur area, including sale-iid-68882112
  104. ^ Pierce, Andrew (8 July 2008). "World's largest VC collection to go on show". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
  105. ^ "Victoria Cross". The Australian War Memorial. 17 July 2018. Archived from the original on 23 July 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
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  107. ^ "Collections and exhibitions". Gordon Highlanders' Museum. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  108. ^ In May 2014, the AWM website listed 69 medals, including 3 VCs for Australia – see "Victoria Cross". Australian War Memorial. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  109. ^ "News of Memorial". MoD. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  110. ^ "Westminster Abbey, a history". Sacred Destinations guide. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  111. ^ The Morning Post, 5 Dec. 1877.
  112. ^ "Obituary: Canon W. M. Lummis", The Times, 19 November 1985; p. 18; Issue 62299; col G.
  113. ^ "The Post Office issues VC stamps in 2007 illustrated with artifacts from the collection of Canon Lummis in the National Army Museum". Royal Mail. 15 June 2007. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2007.
  114. ^ Wigmore 1986, p. 15.
  115. ^ "The Remembrance Driveway and VC Rest Areas" (PDF). Oral History Program. NSW Roads and Maritime Services. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  116. ^ See Sally Whipple. (2001). Catalogue of the Series of Historical Pictures by Chevalier L. W. Desanges. (Wantage, 2000). This was the catalogue to an exhibition of photographic reproductions of many of the paintings held in Wantage to honour the Millennium.
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  118. ^ "Victoria & George Cross Portraits – Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis Liverpool & London & Los Angeles (CA)". Archived from the original on 27 October 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.

References

  • The Register of the Victoria Cross. This England. 1997. ISBN 0-906324-03-3.
  • Abbott, Peter; Tamplin, John (1981). British Gallantry Awards. London: Nimrod Dix and Company. ISBN 0-902633-74-0.
  • Arthur, Max (2005). Symbol of Courage; Men behind the Medal. Pan Books. ISBN 978-0-330-49133-4.
  • Ashcroft, Michael (2006). Victoria Cross Heroes. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0-7553-1632-0.
  • Ashton, John (1995). ANZAC Fellowship 1995 report: the analyses of Victoria Crosses in New Zealand. Australian War Memorial.
  • Beharry, Johnson (2006). Barefoot Soldier. Sphere. ISBN 0-316-73321-0.
  • Creagh, Dudley (1992). Charles Barrett, ed. Advances in X-ray Analysis Vol.35. Plenum. pp. 1127–1132. ISBN 978-0-306-44249-0.
  • Creagh, Dudley; Ashton, John (1999). J. Fernandez, A. Tartari, ed. Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry. Editrice Compositori. pp. 299–305. ISBN 88-7794-195-2.
  • Crook, M.J. (1975). The Evolution of the Victoria Cross. Midas Books. ISBN 0-85936-041-5.
  • Duckers, Peter (2006). British Gallantry Awards, 1855–2000. Shire Publications. ISBN 0-7478-0516-4.
  • Duckers, Peter (2005). The Victoria Cross. Shire Publications. ISBN 978-0-7478-0635-6.
  • Glanfield, John (2005). Bravest of the Brave. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3695-9.
  • Harvey, David (2000). Monuments to Courage. Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-84342-356-1.
  • Pillinger, Dennis; Staunton, Anthony (2000). Victoria Cross Presentations and Locations. Maidenhead, Berkshire: Woden. ISBN 0-646-39741-9.
  • Ross, Graham (1995). Scotland's Forgotten Valour. MacLean Press. ISBN 1-899272-00-3.
  • Wigmore, Lionel, ed. (1986). They Dared Mightily (2nd ed.). Canberra: Australian War Memorial. ISBN 0-642-99471-4.

Further reading

  • Wright, Christopher J.; Anderson, Glenda M., eds. (2013). The Victoria Cross and the George Cross: The Complete History. 3 vols. York: Methuen & Co. ISBN 978-0-413-77752-2.

External links

1830 in Ireland

Events from the year 1830 in Ireland.

1831 in Ireland

Events from the year 1831 in Ireland.

Annie Sophie Cory

Annie Sophie Cory (1 October 1868 – 2 August 1952) was a British author of popular, racy, exotic New Woman novels under the pseudonyms Victoria Cross(e), Vivian Cory and V.C. Griffin.

David Charles Harvey

David Charles Harvey (29 July 1946 – 4 March 2004) was a historian and author born in East Ham, London. He is notable for his seminal work Monuments To Courage which documents the graves of almost all recipients of the Victoria Cross, a task which took him over 36 years to complete.

Dickin Medal

The PDSA Dickin Medal was instituted in 1943 in the United Kingdom by Maria Dickin to honour the work of animals in World War II. It is a bronze medallion, bearing the words "For Gallantry" and "We Also Serve" within a laurel wreath, carried on a ribbon of striped green, dark brown, and pale blue. It is awarded to animals that have displayed "conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving or associated with any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units". The award is commonly referred to as "the animals' Victoria Cross" (although the Victoria Cross Trust has opposed this association).Maria Dickin was the founder of the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a British veterinary charity. She established the award for any animal displaying conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty whilst serving with British Empire armed forces or civil emergency services. The medal was awarded 54 times between 1943 and 1949 – to 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, 3 horses, and a ship's cat – to acknowledge actions of gallantry or devotion during the Second World War and subsequent conflicts. The awarding of the medal was revived in 2000 to honour Gander, a Newfoundland dog, who saved infantrymen during the Battle of Lye Mun. In early 2002, the medal was given in honour of three dogs for their role responding to the September 11 attacks; it was also awarded to two dogs serving with Commonwealth forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq. In December 2007, 12 former recipients buried at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford, Essex, were afforded full military honours at the conclusion of a National Lottery-aided project to restore the cemetery.The first recipients of the award, in December 1943, were three pigeons, serving with the Royal Air Force, all of whom contributed to the recovery of air crew from ditched aircraft during the Second World War. The most recent animal to be cited for the honour is Kuga, a Belgian Malinois who served with the Special Air Service Regiment in Afghanistan in 2012.As of October 2018, the Dickin Medal has been awarded 70 times, plus one honorary award made in 2014 to all the animals that served in the First World War.

George Cross

The George Cross (GC) is the second highest award of the United Kingdom honours system. It is awarded "for acts of the greatest heroism or for most conspicuous courage in circumstance of extreme danger", not in the presence of the enemy, to members of the British armed forces and to British civilians. Posthumous awards have been allowed since it was instituted. It was previously awarded to residents of Commonwealth countries (and in one case to a colony which subsequently became a Commonwealth country), most of which have since established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians including police, emergency services and merchant seamen. Many of the awards have been personally presented by the British monarch to recipients or, in the case of posthumous awards, to next of kin. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.

List of Australian Victoria Cross recipients

This list includes Australian recipients of the Victoria Cross and the Victoria Cross for Australia.

The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration awarded for valour "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the Australia Armed Forces. It may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service, and to civilians under military command. Being the highest award in the Australian Honours Order of Wearing, the Victoria Cross takes precedence over all other postnominals and Australian orders and decorations. The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856, initially to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. Because of its rarity and inherent significance, the VC is highly prized, both as an award and as a collector's item, with one medal being sold for over A$1 million at auction. Australians have received the Victoria Cross under the Imperial honours system and later under the Australian Honours System, when in 1991 a new but equivalent award was established by letters patent within the Commonwealth of Australia and its Territories, known as the Victoria Cross for Australia. The Victoria Cross for Australia has been awarded four times: twice to Special Air Service Regiment members, once to a member of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and a posthumous award to a member of the 2nd Commando Regiment. All four were for actions in the War in Afghanistan.

The Imperial Victoria Cross has been awarded to ninety-six Australians—91 were received for actions whilst serving with Australian forces, and another 5 were received for actions whilst serving with South African and British forces. The majority of the awards were for action in the First World War when a total of 64 medals were awarded. Nine of these awards were for action during the Gallipoli Campaign. 20 medals were awarded for action in the Second World War, 6 in the Second Boer War, 4 in the Vietnam War and 2 in the Russian Civil War. Twenty-eight Australians have been awarded the medal posthumously. Notably, one recipient—Captain Alfred Shout VC, MC (who was also Mentioned in Despatches)—was Australia's most decorated soldier of the Gallipoli campaign. His Victoria Cross was posthumously awarded after Shout died of his wounds during the Battle of Lone Pine. Another nineteen VCs have been awarded to soldiers who were either born in Australia, or died there, but did not serve in Australian units and as such these are not included in this list.With the death of Edward Kenna on 8 July 2009, Keith Payne is the only living recipient of the original Victoria Cross; three recipients of the Victoria Cross for Australia are still serving in the Australian Defence Force.

List of Brigade of Gurkhas recipients of the Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration that may be bestowed upon members of the British or Commonwealth armed forces for acts of valour or gallantry performed in the face of the enemy. Within the British honours system and those of many Commonwealth nations it is the highest award a soldier can receive for actions in combat. It was established in 1856 and since then has been awarded 1,356 times, including three service personnel who were awarded the VC twice.The British Army's Brigade of Gurkhas, a group of units composed of Nepalese soldiers—although originally including British officers—has been a part of the Army since 1815. When raised it originally focused on conflicts in the Far East, but the transfer of Hong Kong from British to Chinese hands necessitated that the brigade move its base to the UK. A battalion is still maintained in Brunei and as at 2016, units serve in Afghanistan.

Since the VC was introduced it has been awarded to Gurkhas or British officers serving with Gurkha regiments 26 times. The first award was made in 1858 to a British officer of the Gurkhas, John Tytler, during the campaigns that followed the Indian Rebellion of 1857, while the first award to a native Gurkha, Kulbir Thapa, was in 1915 during the First World War. When the Victoria Cross was initially established, Gurkhas, along with all other native troops of the British East India Company Army or the British Indian Army, were not eligible for the decoration and as such, until 1911, all of the Gurkha recipients of the award were British officers who were attached to Gurkha regiments. Until that time the highest award that Gurkhas were eligible for was the Indian Order of Merit. Since 1911 however, of the 16 VCs awarded to men serving with Gurkha regiments, 13 have been bestowed upon native Gurkhas. The most recent award was made in 1965 to Rambahadur Limbu, during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. Along with the Royal Green Jackets, the Gurkha regiments are among the most heavily decorated Commonwealth units.In 1950, when India became a republic, Gurkhas serving in the Gurkha regiments of the Indian Army lost their eligibility for the Victoria Cross and they are now covered under the separate Indian honours system. Under this system the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), which is India's highest military decoration for valour, is considered to be equivalent to the Victoria Cross. As such only those serving in the Gurkha units of the British Army remain eligible for the Victoria Cross.

List of Canadian Victoria Cross recipients

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest award of the United Kingdom honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" to members of the British armed forces. It may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.

List of Irish Victoria Cross recipients

List of Irish Victoria Cross recipients lists all recipients of the Victoria Cross (post-nominal letters "VC") born on the island of Ireland, together with the date and place of their VC action. The Victoria Cross is the highest war honour of the British Empire and the Commonwealth of Nations. The whole island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom until 1922 when it was partitioned into Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State. In 1948 the Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland and left the Commonwealth in 1949. Despite this, citizens of the Republic still enlist in the British Army and thus are eligible for the Victoria Cross.

List of Second World War Victoria Cross recipients

The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. It takes precedence over all other Orders, decorations and medals; it may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and to civilians under military command. The award was officially constituted when Queen Victoria issued a warrant under the Royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856 that was gazetted on 5 February 1856. The order was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour during the Crimean War. The first awards ceremony was held on 26 June 1857, where Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park.The Victoria Cross was awarded 182 times to 181 recipients for action in the Second World War. The war, also known as World War II (WWII), was a global military conflict that involved a majority of the world's nations, including all of the great powers, organised into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. The war involved the mobilisation of more than 100 million military personnel, making it the most widespread war in history. In a state of "total war", the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Throughout the six-year duration of the war, weapons and technology improved rapidly, including the use of jet aircraft, radar and nuclear weapons. More than 70 million people, the majority of whom were civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.The start of the war is generally held to be 1 September 1939, with the German invasion of Poland and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by most of the Crown Colonies of the British Empire and Commonwealth, and by France. The first Victoria Cross of the war was awarded to Gerard Roope for action whilst in command of HMS Glowworm. The war at sea began immediately after war was declared with the Battle of the Atlantic, in which German U-boats attempted to disrupt and destroy allied convoys. Throughout the war the Royal Navy was tasked with guarding vital shipping lanes and enabling amphibious operations across the globe; the St Nazaire Raid saw five Victoria Crosses awarded. The Battle of the Mediterranean was fought throughout the war and included the Battle of Taranto and Battle of Matapan, as well as protecting convoys including the Malta convoys. In total, 23 servicemen from the Royal Navy were awarded the Victoria Cross including one Royal Marine. Aerial warfare came into its own in World War II with several distinct roles emerging. The role of fighter planes developed during the Battle of Britain, where the Royal Air Force fought for air superiority against the Luftwaffe. The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces. It was the largest and most sustained bombing campaign until that date. Initially, RAF airfields were attacked, however as the battle progressed, operations were extended to the strategic level with The Blitz. Britain also conducted controversial strategic bombing campaigns in Europe and Asia; they involved hundreds of aircraft dropping tens of thousands of tons of munitions over a single city. Tactical strikes were also carried out by the RAF including Operation Chastise, where No. 617 Squadron RAF attacked German dams in the Ruhr valley using "bouncing bombs"; Guy Gibson was awarded the Victoria Cross for this action.

The war on the land did not begin until May 1940, as Britain and France were involved in a Phoney War between Germany and the Franco-British alliance. The phoney war ended with the Battle of France where Germany invaded Benelux and subsequently France, which forced British troops to escape from Dunkirk. In 1941, war spread to the Middle East and North Africa as well as the East African Campaign. The United States officially joined the war in December 1941 after the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1942, British forces under Lieutenant General Bernard Montgomery defeated the Axis forces of General Erwin Rommel in the Second Battle of El Alamein, which marked a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign and the North African Campaign. It ended Axis hopes of occupying Egypt, taking control of the Suez Canal, and gaining access to the Middle Eastern oil fields. Nine VCs were awarded for action in the Western Desert Campaign. By 1943, the war was being fought in several theatres, including the Pacific, North Africa and Southeast Asia. The Burma Campaign of the Pacific War took place from 1942 to 1945, and saw 29 Victoria Crosses awarded. By 1944 and the Allied invasion of Normandy, the Allies were making ground in several theatres including advances in the Burma Campaign. In Europe, the unsuccessful raid on Arnhem saw five soldiers awarded the Victoria Cross, four posthumously. In May 1945, the Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of German forces, celebrated with VE Day. Actions after VE Day until the war in the Pacific was ended with the surrender of Japan on board USS Missouri on 2 September 1945. saw seven Commonwealth servicemen awarded the VC.

Charles Upham received the Victoria Cross and Bar; two awards for two acts. Upham was only the third recipient of the Victoria Cross and Bar, and the first for combatant actions; the previous two recipients were medical officers of the Royal Army Medical Corps.Of the 181 recipients 85 were awarded posthumously.

List of Victoria Cross recipients by campaign

The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. It takes precedence over all other orders, decorations and medals, and may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and to civilians under military command. The award was officially constituted when Queen Victoria issued a warrant under the Royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856 that was gazetted on 5 February 1856. The order was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour during the Crimean War. The first awards ceremony was held on 26 June 1857, where Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park.The first citations of the cat, particularly those in the initial gazette of 24 February 1857, varied in the details of each action; some specify date ranges while some specify a single date. The original Royal Warrant did not contain a specific clause regarding posthumous awards, although official policy was to not award the VC posthumously. Between 1897 and 1901, several notices were issued in the London Gazette regarding soldiers who would have been awarded the VC had they survived. In a partial reversal of policy in 1902, six of the soldiers mentioned were granted the VC, but not "officially" awarded the medal. In 1907, the posthumous policy was completely reversed and medals were sent to the next of kin of the six soldiers. The Victoria Cross warrant was not officially amended to explicitly allow posthumous awards until 1920, but one quarter of all awards for the First World War were posthumous. Three people have been awarded the VC and Bar, which is a medal for two actions; Noel Chavasse, Arthur Martin-Leake and Charles Upham. Chavasse received both medals for actions in the First World War, while Martin-Leake was awarded his first VC for actions in the Second Boer War, and his second for actions during the First World War. Charles Upham received both VCs for actions during the Second World War.

The Victoria Cross has been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individual recipients. The largest number of recipients for one campaign is the First World War, for which 628 medals were awarded to 627 recipients. The largest number awarded for actions on a single day was 24 on 16 November 1857, at the Second Relief of Lucknow, during the Indian Mutiny. The largest number awarded for a single action was 18, for the assault on Sikandar Bagh, during the Second Relief of Lucknow. The largest number awarded to one unit during a single action was 7, to the 2nd/24th Foot, for the defence of Rorke's Drift (22–23 January 1879), during the Zulu War.Since 1991, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have created their own separate Victoria Crosses: the Victoria Cross for Australia, the Victoria Cross (Canada), and the Victoria Cross for New Zealand. Only five of these separate medals have been awarded, all for actions in the War in Afghanistan; Willie Apiata received the Victoria Cross for New Zealand on 26 July 2007; on 16 January 2009 Mark Donaldson, on 24 August 2010 Daniel Keighran, on 23 January 2011 Ben Roberts-Smith, and on 13 February 2014 Cameron Baird (posthumous award), were awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia. As these are separate medals, they are not included in this list.

List of Victoria Cross recipients by nationality

This is a list of recipients of the Victoria Cross by nationality. It does not include the Victoria Cross awarded to the American Unknown Soldier of World War I Tomb of the Unknowns, buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was awarded the VC posthumously in 1921. This gesture reciprocated the award of the Medal of Honor to the British Unknown Warrior.

The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the British armed forces. A small number of Commonwealth countries still participate in the British (Imperial) honours system and would still be eligible to make Victoria Cross recommendations for their service personnel but none of these countries have ever been awarded the Victoria Cross. The last occasion a Commonwealth country was awarded the Victoria Cross was in 1969 during the Vietnam War and today all Commonwealth countries whose armed forces had been awarded the Victoria Cross under the British honours systems have their own honours systems and their own orders, decorations and medals. The Victoria Cross takes precedence over all other British orders, decorations and medals and may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and although civilians under military command are eligible for the award none has been awarded since 1879. The Victoria Cross has often been presented to the recipient during an investiture by the British monarch. The last award of the reign of King George VI and all awards of the reign of the present Queen with the exception of the two posthumous awards to the Australian Army during the Vietnam War have been presented by Queen Elizabeth II. The VC has been awarded on 1358 occasions to 1355 individual recipients.

The original Royal Warrant and all warrants to this day contain both expulsion and restoration clauses. Eight recipients between 1861 and 1908 had their awards rescinded and although no award has ever been restored the names of the eight are included in the list. The original warrant did not contain a specific clause regarding posthumous awards, although official policy was to not award the VC posthumously. Between 1857 and 1901, twelve notices were issued in the London Gazette regarding soldiers who would have been awarded the VC had they survived. In a partial reversal of policy for the South African War 1899-1902, the next of kin of three of the soldiers were sent medals by registered post in 1902. In the same gazette the first three posthumous awards were awarded and also sent to the next of kin. In 1907, the posthumous policy was reversed and medals were sent to the next of kin of the six officers and men. The Victoria Cross warrant was not officially amended to explicitly allow posthumous awards until 1920 but one quarter of all awards for the First World War were posthumous.For a short time in the middle 1800s, the VC was awarded for actions taken not in the face of the enemy. Six were awarded at this time for actions taken not in the face of the enemy. (Campbell Mellis Douglas was one of these recipients.)

Until 1921 the Victoria Cross could not be awarded to women, and to this day no VC has been awarded to members of that gender. With the approval of Queen Victoria, Elizabeth Webber Harris was awarded a gold VC for her valour in nursing cholera-ridden soldiers in India in 1869.Most Commonwealth countries have now created their own honours systems. Since 1991, three Commonwealth countries; Australia, Canada and New Zealand have created their own operational gallantry awards. In each case, their highest award for most conspicuous bravery was named in honour of the British (Imperial) Victoria Cross; the Victoria Cross for Australia, the Victoria Cross (Canada) and the Victoria Cross for New Zealand. One Victoria Cross for New Zealand was awarded to Willie Apiata on 26 July 2007; four Victoria Crosses for Australia have been awarded to Mark Donaldson, Ben Roberts-Smith, Daniel Keighran and Cameron Baird. All five awards were for actions in Afghanistan. As these are separate medals, they are not included in this list.

Recipients are described in the following list by nationality (birthplace) or (citizenship) or (country of service) or (uncertain) or in the case of New Zealand born Captain Alfred John Shout of the Australian Army by both (birthplace) and (country of service). The country lists are compiled differently with the Australian list only being members of the Australian forces, the Canadian list being members of the Canadian forces including Danish Thomas Dinesen who served in Canadian Army plus others who are considered by Canadians as Canadian recipients, while the English list only includes a few of the many English born recipients who were decorated as members of Commonwealth and Indian forces. There have been 1355 individual recipients including the American unknown who is not listed but the list has 1356 names including Alfred John Shout and another listed twice.

Ronald Stuart

Ronald Niel Stuart, VC, DSO, RD, RNR (26 August 1886 – 8 February 1954) was a British Merchant Navy commodore and Royal Navy captain who was highly commended following extensive and distinguished service at sea over a period of more than thirty-five years. During World War I he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Order, the French Croix de Guerre avec Palmes and the United States' Navy Cross for a series of daring operations he conducted while serving in the Royal Navy during the War at Sea.

Stuart received his Victoria Cross following a ballot by the men under his command. This unusual method of selection was used after the Admiralty board was unable to choose which members of the crew deserved the honour after a desperate engagement between a Q-ship and a German submarine off the Irish coast. His later career included command of the liner RMS Empress of Britain and the management of the London office of a major transatlantic shipping company. Following his retirement in 1951, Stuart moved into his sister's cottage in Kent and died three years later. A sometimes irascible man, he was reportedly embarrassed by any fuss surrounding his celebrity and was known to exclaim "Mush!" at any demonstration of strong emotion.

The Register of the Victoria Cross

The Register of the Victoria Cross is a reference work that provides brief information on every Victoria Cross awarded until the publication date. Each entry provides a summary of the deed, along with a photograph of the recipient and the following details where applicable or available - rank, unit, other decorations, date of gazette, place/date of birth, place/date of death, memorials, town/county connections, and any remarks. The book was first published by the quarterly magazine, This England in 1981, a revised and enlarged edition in 1988 and a third edition in 1997. There is no editor noted on the cover page or the title page but Nora Buzzell is acknowledged in all three edition specially in the 1988 and 1997 editions as compiled and researched for This England by Nora Buzzell.

Victoria Cross (Canada)

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest award of the United Kingdom honours system. It was previously awarded to Canada and other Commonwealth countries, most of which including Canada have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. Today, the Victoria Cross (French: Croix de Victoria), created in 1993 and named in honour of the British Victoria Cross is the highest award within the Canadian honours system, taking precedence over all other orders, decorations, and medals. It is awarded by either the Canadian monarch or his or her viceregal representative, the Governor General of Canada, to any member of the Canadian Forces or allies serving under or with Canadian military command for extraordinary valour and devotion to duty while facing hostile forces. Whereas in many other Commonwealth countries the relevant version of the Victoria Cross can only be awarded for actions against the enemy in a wartime setting, the Canadian government has a broader definition of the term enemy. In Canada, the Victoria Cross can be awarded for action against armed mutineers, pirates, or other such hostile forces without war being officially declared. Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters VC (for both English and French) and also to receive an annuity of C$3,000. The decoration has not been awarded since its inception.

Victoria Cross for Australia

The Victoria Cross for Australia is the highest award in the Australian Honours System, superseding the British Victoria Cross for issue to Australians. The Victoria Cross for Australia is the "decoration for according recognition to persons who in the presence of the enemy, perform acts of the most conspicuous gallantry, or daring or pre-eminent acts of valour or self-sacrifice or display extreme devotion to duty."The Victoria Cross for Australia was created by letters patent signed by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, on 15 January 1991. It is listed equal first with the British Victoria Cross on the Australian Order of Wear with precedence in Australia over all orders, decorations and medals. The decoration may be awarded to members of the Australian Defence Force and to other persons determined by the Australian Minister for Defence. A person to whom the Victoria Cross for Australia has been awarded is entitled to the post nominals VC placed after the person's name.The Governor-General of Australia awards the Victoria Cross for Australia, with the approval of the Sovereign, on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence. The first medal was awarded on 16 January 2009 to Trooper Mark Donaldson, for the rescue of a coalition forces interpreter from heavy fire in Oruzgan Province in Afghanistan. Donaldson's award came almost 40 years after Warrant Officer Keith Payne became the last Australian to be awarded the (original) Victoria Cross for gallantry on 24 May 1969 during the Vietnam War. Unlike the original Victoria Cross where the announcement of the award is followed some time later by the presentation of the award, the announcement and presentation of all awards of the VC for Australia have occurred on the same occasion with the presentation being made by the Governor-General in the presence of the Prime Minister. Both VC for Australia and original Victoria Cross recipients are entitled to the Victoria Cross allowance under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986.

Victoria Cross for New Zealand

The Victoria Cross for New Zealand (VC) is a military decoration awarded for valour or gallantry in the presence of the enemy to members of the New Zealand Armed Forces. It may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and civilians under military command, and is presented to the recipient by the Governor-General of New Zealand during an investiture held at Government House, Wellington. As the highest award for gallantry in New Zealand it takes precedence over all other postnominals and medals.The Victoria Cross for New Zealand was established in 1999 when New Zealand created a new award system that replaced several Commonwealth honours with New Zealand awards. It has been awarded once, on 2 July 2007 to Corporal Willie Apiata for actions in 2004.

The original British Victoria Cross was introduced in 1856 by Queen Victoria to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. That medal had been awarded 25 times to 24 individual military personnel from New Zealand; Captain Charles Upham receiving a bar. Only 14 medals have been awarded since the end of the Second World War. The medal is made from the gunmetal of a weapon supposedly captured at the siege of Sevastopol, but several historians have since questioned the true origin of the gunmetal. Originally all Commonwealth recipients were issued with the same award, but over the last 50 years, some Commonwealth countries have introduced separate award systems; three of these retain "Victoria Cross" as part of the name of the highest award for gallantry.

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