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The Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
(VC) is the highest award of the United Kingdom 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
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
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. Some research has suggested a variety of origins for the material.[4] Research has established that the metal for most of the medals made since December 1914 came from two Chinese cannons[5] that were captured from the Russians in 1855. 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
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 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
Victoria Cross
for Australia, the Canadian Victoria Cross and the Victoria Cross
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.

Contents

1 Origin

1.1 Manufacture

2 Appearance 3 Award process

3.1 Colonial awards 3.2 Separate Commonwealth awards

4 Authority and privileges

4.1 Annuity 4.2 Forfeited awards

5 Recipients 6 Public sales 7 Thefts 8 Collections

8.1 Ashcroft collection 8.2 Australian War Memorial 8.3 List of collections

9 Other

9.1 Memorials 9.2 In art

10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links

Origin[edit] In 1854, after 39 years of peace, Britain found itself fighting a major war against Russia. The Crimean War
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
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
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
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 a man's lengthy or meritorious service. Queen Victoria
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
Queen Victoria
had instructed the War Office
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
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
Queen Victoria
invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park, London.[11] Manufacture[edit] A single company of jewellers, Hancocks
Hancocks
of London, has been responsible for the production of every VC awarded since its inception.[18] It was originally intended that the VCs would be cast from the cascabels of two cannon that were captured from the Russians at the siege of Sevastopol.[19][20][21] In 1990 Creagh and Ashton conducted a metallurgical examination of the VCs in the custody of the Australian War Memorial.[22][23] 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][21][24] Creagh noted the existence of Chinese inscriptions on the cannon, which are now barely legible due to corrosion.[22] A likely explanation is that these cannon were taken as trophies during the First Opium War
First Opium War
and held in the Woolwich
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 [22][23] both in Australia (58) and at the QE II Army Memorial Museum in New Zealand (14) [22] spanned the entire time during which VCs have been issued and no compositional inconsistencies were found.[22] 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.[22] 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. Appearance[edit]

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.[25] 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).[26] 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
Victoria Cross
"shall consist of a Maltese cross
Maltese cross
of bronze".[25] Nonetheless, it has always been a cross pattée; the discrepancy with the Warrant has never been corrected.[27] 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.[28] However the dark blue ribbon was abolished soon after the formation of the Royal Air Force
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.[29] Although the army warrants state the colour as being red it is defined by most commentators as being crimson or "wine-red".[30] Award process[edit]

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

The Victoria Cross
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.[31] 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
Victoria Cross
awards are always promulgated in the London Gazette with the single exception of the award to the American Unknown Soldier in 1921.[32] The Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
warrant makes no specific provision as to who should actually present the medals to the recipients. Queen Victoria
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.[33] 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
Indian Mutiny
in 1857 and the beginning of the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
the names of six officers and men were published in the London Gazette
London Gazette
with a memorandum stating they would have been awarded the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
had they survived. A further three notices were published in the London Gazette
London Gazette
in September 1900 and April 1901 for gallantry in the Second Boer War. In an exception to policy for the South Africa
South Africa
War 1899–1902, six posthumous Victoria Crosses, three to the officers and men mentioned in the notices in 1900 and 1901 and a further three, the first official posthumous awards, were granted on 8 August 1902.[34][a] Five years later in 1907, the posthumous policy was reversed and medals were sent to the next of kin of the six officers and men.[35] The awards were mentioned in notices in the Gazette dating back to the Indian Mutiny. 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.[36][37] Although the 1920 Royal Warrant made provision for awards to women serving in the Armed Forces, no women have been awarded a VC.[38] 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.[39] 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
Royal Horse Artillery
at Korn Spruit
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
Lancashire Fusiliers
at W Beach during the landing at Gallipoli
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
Zeebrugge Raid
in 1918. The provision for awards by ballot is still included in the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
warrant but there have been no further such awards since 1918.[31] Between 1858 and 1881 the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
could be awarded for actions taken "under circumstances of extreme danger" not in the face of the enemy.[40] Six such awards were made during this period—five of them for a single incident during an Expedition to the Andaman Islands in 1867.[41] In 1881, the criteria were changed again and the VC was only awarded for acts of valour "in the face of the enemy".[41] 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.[42] Colonial awards[edit] The Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
was extended to colonial troops in 1867. The extension was made following a recommendation for gallantry regarding colonial soldier Major Charles Heaphy
Charles Heaphy
for action in the New Zealand land wars in 1864.[43] 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
Victoria Cross
were raised for local troops who distinguished themselves in action.[44] 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.[45] 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.[44] The question of whether recommendations could be made for colonial troops not serving with British troops was not asked in New Zealand, but in 1881, the question was asked in South Africa. 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
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
Vietnam
although Britain was not involved in the conflict.[46] Indian troops were not originally eligible for the Victoria Cross since they had been eligible for the Indian Order of Merit
Indian Order of Merit
since 1837 which was the oldest British gallantry award for general issue. When the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
was created, Indian troops were still controlled by the Honourable East India Company
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
Indian Order of Merit
and the Victoria Cross
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
Victoria Cross
intensified. Indian troops became eligible for the award in 1911. The first awards to Indian troops appeared in the London Gazette
London Gazette
on 7 December 1914 to Darwan Sing Negi
Darwan Sing Negi
and Khudadad Khan. Negi was presented with the Victoria Cross
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.[47] Separate Commonwealth awards[edit] See also: Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
for Australia, Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
(Canada), and Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
for New Zealand

Victoria Cross
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
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
Victoria Cross
until 1972, introduced its own equivalent, the Parama Weera Vibhushanaya medal. Three Commonwealth realms—Australia, Canada and New Zealand[48]—have each introduced their own decorations for gallantry and bravery, replacing British decorations such as the Victoria Cross
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.[49] 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][50][51] Australia was the first Commonwealth realm
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.[52] 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
Latin
PRO VALORE This language was chosen so as to favour neither French nor English, the two official languages of Canada.[53] 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
Crimean War
gunmetal as the British VC.[48][52] The Canadian Victoria Cross also includes metal from the same cannon, along with copper and other metals from all regions of Canada.[54] 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
Victoria Cross
for Australia has been awarded four times. Mark Donaldson
Mark Donaldson
was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia
Victoria Cross for Australia
on 16 January 2009 for actions during Operation Slipper, the Australian contribution to the War in Afghanistan.[55] Ben Roberts-Smith
Ben Roberts-Smith
was awarded the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
for Australia on 23 January 2011 for actions in the Shah Wali Kot Offensive, part of the War in Afghanistan.[56] Daniel Keighran
Daniel Keighran
was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia
Victoria Cross for Australia
on 1 November 2012 for his actions during the Battle of Derapet in Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan, on 24 August 2010.[57] 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.[58] Authority and privileges[edit] 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.[49] Similar acts of extreme valour that do not take place in the face of the enemy are honoured with the George Cross, which has equal precedence but is awarded second because the GC is newer.[59] 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 the Chiefs of Staff will salute a Private awarded a VC or GC.[59] The Victoria Cross
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
Edward VII
gave the cross its present position on a bar brooch.[60] 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.[61] Annuity[edit] The original warrant stated that NCOs and private soldiers or seamen on the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Register were entitled to a £10 per annum annuity.[62] In 1898, Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
raised the pension to £50 for those that could not earn a livelihood, be it from old age or infirmity.[63] Today holders of the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
or George Cross
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.[64] 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.[65] In Canada under the Gallantry Awards Order, members of the Canadian Forces
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.[66] Under Subsection 103.4 of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986, the Australian Government provides a Victoria Cross Allowance.[67] 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.[68][69] Forfeited awards[edit] See also: Category: Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
forfeitures 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.[70] 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.[32]

The power to cancel and restore awards is still included in the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
warrant.[71] The last award to be forfeited was in 1908 and none have been restored.[72] Recipients[edit] Main article: Lists of Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
recipients

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.[73] There are several statistics related to the greatest number of VCs awarded in individual battles or wars. The greatest number of Victoria Crosses won on a single day is 24, for deeds performed on 16 November 1857 in Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny.[74] 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.[75] The greatest number won in a single conflict is 628, being for the First World War.[76] There are only six living holders of the VC—four British, one Australian, one Gurkha—one award for the Second World War and four awards since; in addition one New Zealander holds the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
for New Zealand and four Australians hold the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
for Australia. Eight of the then-twelve surviving holders of the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
attended the 150th Anniversary service of remembrance at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
on 26 June 2006.[77] In 1921 the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
was given to the American Unknown Soldier of the First World War
First World War
(the British Unknown Warrior was reciprocally awarded the US Medal of Honor).[78] One VC is in existence that is not counted in any official records. In 1856, Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
laid the first Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
beneath the foundation stone of Netley Military hospital.[79] 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.[79] 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.[80] 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.[81] Royal New Zealand Air Force
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.[82] The recommendation was made by the captain of the German U-boat
U-boat
U-468 sunk by Trigg's aircraft. Lieutenant Commander
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.[83] 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
Vietnam
War, two during the Falklands War
Falklands War
in 1982, one in the Iraq War
Iraq War
in 2004, and three in the War in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2012.[78][84][85][86] Public sales[edit] 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
Sotheby's
for the then record price of £300 (approximately £7200 in present-day terms[87]). In October 1966 the Middlesex Regiment
Middlesex Regiment
paid a new record figure of £900 (approximately £15400 in present-day terms[87]) for a VC awarded after the Battle of the Somme. In January 1969, the record reached £1700 (£25700[87]) for the medal set of William Rennie.[88] In April 2004 the VC awarded in 1944 to Sergeant Norman Jackson, RAF, was sold at auction for £235,250.[89][90] On 24 July 2006, an auction at Bonhams
Bonhams
in Sydney of the VC awarded to Captain Alfred Shout
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.[91] 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.[92] Thefts[edit] Several VCs have been stolen and, being valuable, have been placed on the Interpol
Interpol
watch-list for stolen items.[93] The VC awarded to Milton Gregg, which was donated to the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum
Royal Canadian Regiment Museum
in London, Ontario
London, Ontario
Canada in 1979, was stolen on Canada Day
Canada Day
(1 July 1980), when the museum was overcrowded[94] and has been missing since. A VC awarded in 1917 to Canadian soldier Corporal Filip Konowal[95] was stolen from the same museum in 1973 and was not recovered until 2004.[96] On 2 December 2007, nine VCs were among 100 medals stolen from locked, reinforced glass cabinets at the QEII Army Memorial Museum
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.[97] 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.[98] On 16 February 2008 New Zealand Police announced all the medals had been recovered.[99][100] Collections[edit] Ashcroft collection[edit] 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
Imperial War Museum
where the 50 VCs held by the museum will be put on display alongside his collection.[101] The Lord Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum
opened on 12 November 2010 containing a total of 210 VCs and 31 GCs.[7] Australian War Memorial[edit] 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).[102][103][104] List of collections[edit] Museums with holdings of ten or more VCs include:[105][106]

In the UK

Museum Location Number of VCs

Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum Kennington, London 210

The National Army Museum Chelsea, London 39

The Royal Green Jackets 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
Queen's Own Highlanders
Museum Ardersier, Inverness-shire 16

The South Wales Borderers Museum Brecon, Wales 16

The Green Howards Regimental Museum Richmond, Yorkshire 15

The Royal Fusiliers Museum Tower of London 12

The Gordon Highlanders
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
Gurkha
Museum Winchester, Hampshire 10

The Royal Marines Museum Portsmouth, Hampshire 10

The Royal Welch Fusiliers
Royal Welch Fusiliers
Museum Caernarfon Castle, Wales 10

Outside the UK

Australian War Memorial Canberra, Australia ~70[102]

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.)[105] Other[edit] Memorials[edit] In 2004 a national Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
and George Cross
George Cross
memorial was installed in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
close to the tomb of the Unknown Warrior.[107] Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
is a living monument to British history in that it contains monuments and memorials to central figures in British History including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
and James VI & I. As such it was a significant honour for the VC to be commemorated in Westminster Abbey.[108] 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.[109] 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 work and encouraged David Harvey to continue it. The result was Harvey's seminal book Monuments to Courage. In 2007 the Royal Mail
Royal Mail
used material from Lummis' archives to produce a collection of stamps commemorating Victoria Cross recipients.[110] It is a tradition within the Australian Army
Australian Army
for soldiers' recreational clubs on military bases to be named after a particular recipient of the Victoria Cross.[111] 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
Elizabeth II
in a park near Sydney Harbour and at the Australian War Memorial
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
Victoria Cross for Australia
awards. Edward Kenna, VC, was honoured with the most recent rest stop on 16 August 2012, having died in 2009.[112] In art[edit] The subject of soldiers earning the VC has been popular with artists since the medal's inception. In particular are the fifty paintings by Louis William Desanges
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
Wantage
as the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Gallery and exhibited in the town of Wantage, Berkshire. Later the collection was broken up and many of the paintings were sent to the various regiments depicted. Some were damaged or destroyed.[113] 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.[114] In 2016, portrait photographer Rory Lewis
Rory Lewis
was commissioned by the Victoria Cross and George Cross
George Cross
Association to hold portrait sittings with all the living Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
and George Cross
George Cross
recipients.[115] See also[edit]

Dickin Medal
Dickin Medal
("the animals' VC")

Notes[edit]

^ On 8 August 1902 as a result of a revision in the policy in the War Office which allowed posthumous awards of the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
for officers and men who fallen during the recent operation in the performance of acts of valour which would in the opinion of the Commander in Chief had entitled them to a Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
were awarded to:[34]

Captain David Younger, action near Krugersdorp, 11 July 1900 Lieutenant Robert Digby-Jones
Robert Digby-Jones
and Trooper Herman Albrecht, Battle of Wagon Hill, 6 January 1900 Lieutenant Gustavus Hamilton Blenkinsopp Coulson, rear-guard action, near Lambrecht Fontein, 18 May 1901 Sergeant Alfred Atkinson Battle of Paardeberg, 18 February 1900 Private John Barry action on Monument Hill, 7 and 8 January 1901

^ Special
Special
Army Order 65 of 1961, paragraph 6. ^ a b "Military Honours and Awards". Defence Internet. UK Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 30 January 2007.  ^ a b "No. 56878". The London Gazette
London Gazette
(Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3351.  ^ a b c Davies, Catriona (28 December 2005). "Author explodes myth of the gunmetal VC". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ Glanfield (2005) pp. 24–35 ^ a b "The Victoria Cross ... awarded to Captain Alfred Shout have been sold at auction". Iain Stewart, Victoria Cross.org. Retrieved 9 April 2008.  ^ a b "Press Release: The Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Extraordinary Heroes" (PDF). Imperial War Museum. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010.  ^ Canadian Honours System ^ Australian Honours System ^ New Zealand Honours System ^ a b c Ashcroft (2006), preface ^ Original Warrant Foreword: And, whereas, the third class of Our Most Honourable Order of the Bath
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, ^ British Gallantry Awards, p283 ^ a b "No. 21846". The London Gazette. 5 February 1856. pp. 410–411.  The Gazette publishing the original Royal Warrant ^ Ashcroft, Michael, p. 7–10 ^ a b c "The Victoria Cross". Vietnam
Vietnam
Veterans Of Australia. Retrieved 15 June 2007.  ^ 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. ^ " Hancocks
Hancocks
Jewellers". Hancocks
Hancocks
of London. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ a b Beharry, Johnson p.359 ^ a b c "150 years of the Victoria Cross". Royal Naval Museum. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.  ^ a b " Hancocks
Hancocks
of London History of VC". Hancocks
Hancocks
of London. Archived from the original on 27 August 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2007.  ^ 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.  ^ 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.  ^ Glanfield (2005), pp. 24–35 ^ 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
Maltese cross
of bronze, with our Royal crest in the centre, and underneath with an escroll bearing the inscription "For Valour". ^ Ashcroft, Michael, p.16 ^ Abbott and Tamplin (1981). British Gallantry Awards. Nimrod Dix and Co.. ISBN 0-902633-74-0. ^ 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 ^ "The Victoria Cross
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.  ^ "The Victoria Cross". Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum
Exhibits and Firearms Collections. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2006.  ^ a b Crook, MJ, Chapter 18, p.204 ^ a b "Posthumous VCs". National Army Museum. Archived from the original on 16 July 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ Pillinger, Dennis; Staunton, A, p.73 ^ a b "No. 27462". The London Gazette. 8 August 1902. p. 5085.  ^ "No. 27986". The London Gazette. 15 January 1907. p. 325.  ^ Crook, MJ, Chapter 8 pp.68–90 ^ "No. 31946". The London Gazette. 18 June 1920. p. 6702.  ^ "The Victoria Cross". Imperial War Museum. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2015.  ^ 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. ^ 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. ^ a b "VC background". British War Graves Memorial. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ " Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
TV programme notes". fiveTV. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007.  ^ "Charles heaphy biography". New Zealand Encyclopedia. 1966. Retrieved 17 June 2007.  ^ a b Abbott PE, Tamplin JMA, Chapter 34, 230–236 ^ "New Zealand Cross". New Zealand Encyclopedia. 1966. Retrieved 17 June 2007.  ^ Crook, MJ, Chapter 19, pp.242–251 ^ Crook, MJ, Chapter 11. pp 117–125 ^ a b "New Zealand Honours". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Archived from the original on 7 December 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2007.  ^ a b "No. 56878". The London Gazette
London Gazette
(Supplement). 17 March 2003. pp. 3351–3355.  The Gazette containing the most up-to-date Order of Precedence ^ 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. ^ Republic of South Africa
South Africa
Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981 ^ a b "The Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
for Australia". The Government of Australia. Retrieved 30 June 2007.  ^ CTV.ca, News staff (3 March 2007). "Top military honour now cast in Canada". CTV news. Retrieved 24 June 2007.  ^ "Pro Valore: Canada's Victoria Cross" (PDF). National Defence; Government of Canada. Retrieved 30 August 2011.  ^ "Australian SAS soldier Mark Donaldson
Mark Donaldson
awarded Victoria Cross". The Australian. News Limited. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.  ^ "SAS digger awarded VC for taking on Taliban". Sydney Morning Herald. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011.  ^ "Corporal Daniel Keighran
Daniel Keighran
awarded the Victoria Cross". 1 November 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.  ^ Teotonio, Isabel (7 March 2007). "Vets irate at Victoria Cross proposal". Toronto Star. Retrieved 24 June 2007.  ^ 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.  ^ Sir Ivan de la Bère, The Queen's Orders of Chivalry, 1964 ^ The complete book of Heraldry by Stephen Slater, 2002 ^ 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. ^ Warrant Amendment 1898-07-1898 ... authorize the increase of the Victoria Cross
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. ^ "George Osborne to raise Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
and George Cross
George Cross
payments to £10,000".  ^ "Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, c. 1, Part 9, Chapter 17, Section 638". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 12 July 2011.  ^ "Canadian Gallantry Awards Order". Canadian Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 30 June 2007.  ^ "Veteran's Entitlement Act 1986". Australasian Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ 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) ^ "Veteran's Entitlement Act 1986, Clause 198a,". Australasian Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 30 June 2007.  ^ 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. ^ 1920 warrant, article 12, at Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Rules (1856–1920), www.victoriacross.co.uk (retrieved 7 October 2016). ^ 'Forfeited VC myths' in the 27th Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Society Journal published October 2015 (see http://www.victoriacrosssociety.com/pastjournals.htm[permanent dead link] ) ^ "The Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
factsheet". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 30 June 2007.  (The figure used in this article does not include the award to the American Unknown Soldier.) ^ Duckers, Peter (2005). The Victoria Cross. Shire Publications Ltd. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-7478-0635-6.  ^ "The History of The Royal Welsh: Anglo- Zulu War
Zulu War
1879". The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh (Brecon). Retrieved 22 April 2015.  For the same action four other VCs were awarded to members of other units. ^ Arthur, Max; pp.185–371 ^ "Service of Remembrance Coverage". BBC. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 30 June 2007.  ^ a b Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Register ^ a b " Netley Hospital
Netley Hospital
information". QARANC – Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ Ashcroft, Michael, Introduction: A brief History of the VC (p. 14–18) ^ "Awards to Imperial Servicemen During the 2nd Maori War". New Zealand Encyclopedia. Retrieved 30 June 2007.  ^ Ashcroft, Michael, p. 296–298, Information on Flying Officer Lloyd Allan Trigg ^ Singh Gill, Himmat. "Of blood red in olive green". India Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 30 June 2007.  ^ "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.  ^ " Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Award For L/Cpl James Ashworth". Sky News. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.  ^ "No. 61154". The London Gazette
London Gazette
(Supplement). 26 February 2015. p. 3466.  ^ a b c UK Retail Price Index
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 6 November 2017.  ^ Bevis Hillier (22 January 1969). "£1,700 world record for a VC". Arts and Entertainment. The Times (57465). London. col F, p. 12.  ^ " Gallipoli
Gallipoli
VC medal sets auction record". The Age. Melbourne. 24 July 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2007.  ^ Table 3 "UK Sales 1881–2000", Pillinger and Staunton ^ "Lord Ashcroft pays record price for 'ultimate' Victoria Cross". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 February 2017.  ^ "Royal Navy VC sells for world-record auction price". Royal Navy. 27 November 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.  ^ "List of stolen VCs". Iain Stewart, Victoria Cross.org. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ "Victoria Cross: Theft of the VC". solarnavigator.net. Archived from the original on 29 April 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ "Information on Konowal". Lubomyr Y. Luciuk and Ron Sorobey. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ "Stolen VC back on display". CBC Canada. 24 August 2004. Archived from the original on 13 May 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ Cheng, Derek (2 December 2007). "Army medal theft 'insult' to our nation's heritage". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2 December 2007.  ^ 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.  ^ "Stolen War Medals Recovered". New Zealand Police. 16 February 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008.  ^ In Pakistan, too, speculation and controversy has long been afoot regarding the genuineness of the VC awarded to Khudadad Khan
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[permanent dead link] ^ Pierce, Andrew (8 July 2008). "World's largest VC collection to go on show". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 9 July 2008.  ^ a b 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.  ^ "Victoria Crosses held at the Memorial". Australian War memorial. Retrieved 9 May 2014.  ^ "Victoria Crosses at the Memorial". Hall of Valour. Australian War Memorial. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2010.  ^ a b "List of Museums". Victoria cross.org. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ "Collections and exhibitions". Gordon Highlanders' Museum. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2008.  ^ "News of Memorial". MoD. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.  ^ "Westminster Abbey, a history". Sacred Destinations guide. Retrieved 30 June 2007.  ^ "Obituary: Canon W. M. Lummis", The Times, 19 November 1985; pg. 18; Issue 62299; col G ^ "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.  ^ Wigmore 1986, p. 15. ^ "The Remembrance Driveway and VC Rest Areas" (PDF). Oral History Program. NSW Roads and Maritime Services. Retrieved 10 November 2012.  ^ 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
Wantage
to honour the Millennium. ^ "Victoria Cross". Online Exhibitions—The Art of War—Valour & Gallantry—Valour. The National Archives. Retrieved 24 December 2009.  ^ Rory Lewis
Rory Lewis
Portrait Photographer Victoria & George Cross Portraits

References[edit]

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
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[edit]

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[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Victoria Cross.

Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
& George Cross
George Cross
Association website "Holders of the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
and the George Cross". The Times. London. 19 August 2009. Archived from the original on 31 May 2010.  Contains a list of links to obituaries. Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Registers online index to Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
awards at the National Archives site Search UK National Inventory of War Memorial for memorials in the UK commemorating VC recipients Select 'War' type of 'VC or GC Winners' The Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Trust Charitable Trust with index of VC recipients Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Royal Warrants (1856–1920), at www.victoriacross.co.uk

Highest military awards for gallantry

List of highest military decorations

Current

Argentine Nation to the Heroic Valour in Combat Cross (Argentina) National Hero of Armenia
National Hero of Armenia
(Armenia) National Hero of Azerbaijan
National Hero of Azerbaijan
title (Azerbaijan) Bir Sreshtho
Bir Sreshtho
(Bangladesh) Hero of Belarus
Hero of Belarus
title (Belarus) Order of Bravery
Order of Bravery
(Bulgaria) Order of Heroic Exemplar
Order of Heroic Exemplar
(China) Valour Cross
Valour Cross
(Denmark) Cross of Liberty (Estonia) Mannerheim Cross
Mannerheim Cross
(Finland) Légion d'honneur
Légion d'honneur
(France) Cross of Honour for Valour (Germany) Cross of Valour (Greece) Param Vir Chakra
Param Vir Chakra
(India) Military Medal for Gallantry (Ireland) Medal of Valor (Israel) Gold Medal of Military Valour
Gold Medal of Military Valour
(Italy) Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa
Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa
(Malaysia) Military William Order
Military William Order
(Netherlands) War Cross (Norway) Nishan-e-Haider
Nishan-e-Haider
(Pakistan) Medal of Valor (Philippines) War Order Virtuti Militari
Virtuti Militari
(wartime) / Order Krzyża Wojskowego peacetime (Poland) Order of the Tower and Sword
Order of the Tower and Sword
(Portugal) Order of Michael the Brave
Order of Michael the Brave
(Romania) Hero of the Russian Federation
Hero of the Russian Federation
title (Russian Federation) Nkwe ya Gauta
Nkwe ya Gauta
(South Africa) Laureate Cross of St. Ferdinand (Spain) Parama Weera Vibhushanaya
Parama Weera Vibhushanaya
(Sri Lanka) Knight
Knight
Grand Cross of the Order of the Sword
Order of the Sword
(Sweden) Order of Rama
Order of Rama
(Thailand) Order of Katonga
Order of Katonga
(Uganda) Order of the Gold Star (Ukraine) Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
(United Kingdom Australia Canada New Zealand) Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor
(United States)

Obsolete

Order of Saint Louis
Order of Saint Louis
(Kingdom of France) Military Order of Maria Theresa
Military Order of Maria Theresa
(Austria-Hungary) Medal of Bravery (Kingdom of Hungary) Pour le Mérite
Pour le Mérite
(Kingdom of Prussia) Military Order of Max Joseph
Military Order of Max Joseph
(Kingdom of Bavaria) Military Order of St. Henry
Military Order of St. Henry
(Kingdom of Saxony) Military Merit Order (Kingdom of Württemberg) Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross
(Nazi Germany) Order of the Golden Kite
Order of the Golden Kite
(Empire of Japan) Order of Lāčplēsis
Order of Lāčplēsis
(Latvia) Grand Cross of Valour
Grand Cross of Valour
(Rhodesia) Laureate Plate of Madrid
Laureate Plate of Madrid
(Second Spanish Republic) Castle of Good Hope Decoration
Castle of Good Hope Decoration
(South Africa) Vietnam
Vietnam
Military Merit Medal (South Vietnam) Hero of the Soviet Union
Hero of the Soviet Union
(Soviet Union) Order of the Karađorđe's Star with Swords (Kingdom of Yugoslavia) Order of Freedom (SFR Yugoslavia)

v t e

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross for Australia for Canada for New Zealand

Recipients

by nationality

Australian Canadian English Irish New Zealand Scottish Uncertain

by armed force

Royal Navy Royal Air Force Indian Army

by branch of service

Artillery Cavalry Royal Engineers Guards Gurkhas (Nepalese) Medical

by campaign

Crimean War Indian Mutiny New Zealand Wars Zulu War Second Anglo-Afghan War Second Boer War First World War Second World War

by Name

A–F G–M N–Z

Other

Living By school

v t e

Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom

Orders

Current

Garter Thistle Bath Merit St Michael and St George Royal Victorian Distinguished Service British Empire Imperial Service Companions of Honour St John

Dormant

St Patrick Royal Guelphic Crown of India Star of India Indian Empire Indian Merit British India Burma

Other

Royal Victorian Chain Hereditary peerage Life peerage Privy Counsellor Baronet Knight
Knight
Bachelor Aide-de-camp
Aide-de-camp
(ADC) Honours of other Commonwealth realms

Current awards

Level 1

Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
(VC) George Cross
George Cross
(GC)

Level 2A

Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Order
(DSO) Conspicuous Gallantry Cross
Conspicuous Gallantry Cross
(CGC) Royal Red Cross
Royal Red Cross
Class I (RRC)

Level 2B

George Medal
George Medal
(GM) Queen's Police Medal, for Gallantry (QPM) Queen's Fire Service Medal, for Gallantry (QFSM)

Level 3A

Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Military Cross
Military Cross
(MC) Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Air Force Cross (AFC) Royal Red Cross
Royal Red Cross
Class II (ARRC)

Level 3B

Constabulary Medal (Ireland) Sea Gallantry Medal (SGM) Queen's Gallantry Medal (QGM) Royal Victorian Medal (RVM) British Empire Medal
British Empire Medal
(BEM) Queen's Police Medal, for Distinguished Service (QPM) Queen's Fire Service Medal, for Distinguished Service (QFSM) Queen's Ambulance Service Medal (QAM) Queen's Volunteer Reserves Medal
Queen's Volunteer Reserves Medal
(QVRM) Polar Medal (PM) Imperial Service Medal
Imperial Service Medal
(ISM) Overseas Territories Police Medal
Overseas Territories Police Medal
(CPM) Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service

Level 4

Mentioned in Despatches Queen's Commendation for Bravery Queen's Commendation for Bravery
Queen's Commendation for Bravery
in the Air Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service

Other

Badge of Honour

Obsolete awards

Level 1

Indian Order of Merit
Indian Order of Merit
(First Class) (IOM) Albert Medal (1st class) (AM) Edward Medal
Edward Medal
(1st class) (EM) Empire Gallantry Medal
Empire Gallantry Medal
(EGM)

Level 2A

Indian Order of Merit
Indian Order of Merit
(Second Class) (IOM) Distinguished Conduct Medal
Distinguished Conduct Medal
(DCM) Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
(CGM) Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
(Flying) (CGM)

Level 2B

Albert Medal (2nd class) (AM) Edward Medal
Edward Medal
(2nd class) (EM) Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
King's Medal for Bravery, Gold

Level 3A

Order of British India
Order of British India
(First Class) (OBI) Order of British India
Order of British India
(Second Class) (OBI) Indian Order of Merit
Indian Order of Merit
(Third Class) (IOM) Royal West African Frontier Force Distinguished Conduct Medal King's African Rifles Distinguished Conduct Medal Indian Distinguished Service Medal (IDSM) Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) Military Medal
Military Medal
(MM) Distinguished Flying Medal
Distinguished Flying Medal
(DFM) Air Force Medal
Air Force Medal
(AFM) Burma Gallantry Medal (BGM)

Level 3B

Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
Queen's Medal for Bravery (Silver) Kaisar-i-Hind Medal
Kaisar-i-Hind Medal
(Gold, Silver, Bronze) Indian Police Medal, for Gallantry Ceylon Police Medal, for Gallantry Sierra Leone Police Medal, for Gallantry Sierra Leone Fire Brigades Medal, for Gallantry Colonial Police Medal, for Gallantry (CPM) Canada Medal
Canada Medal
(CM) Queen's Medal for Chiefs Indian Police Medal, for Meritorious Service Ceylon Police Medal, for Merit Sierra Leone Police Medal, for Meritorious Service Sierra Leone Fire Brigades Medal, for Meritorious Service

Level 4

King's/Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct King's/ Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service
in the Air

Royal family orders

King George IV Victoria and Albert King Edward VII King George V King George VI Queen Elizabeth II

See also British campaign medals Revocations

v t e

Former decorations of Australia

Australian Honours Order of Precedence prior to 6 October 1992

Orders of chivalry

Most Honourable Order of the Bath

Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath
(GCB) Knight/Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath
(KCB/DCB) Companion of the Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath
(CB)

Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George

Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) Knight/Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG/DCMG) Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Order of St Michael and St George
(CMG)

Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

/ Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire
(GBE) / Knight/Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire
(KBE/DBE) / Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire
(CBE) / Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire
(OBE) / Member of the Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire
(MBE)

Imperial Service Order

Companion of the Imperial Service Order
Imperial Service Order
(ISO)

Order of the Companions of Honour

Companion of the Order of the Companions of Honour
Order of the Companions of Honour
(CH)

Miscellaneous

Hereditary peer Life peer Baronet Knight
Knight
Bachelor

Military gallantry/bravery decorations

In the face of the enemy

Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
(VC) Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Order
(DSO) Distinguished Conduct Medal
Distinguished Conduct Medal
(DCM) Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
(CGM) Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
(Flying) (CGM) Military Cross
Military Cross
(MC) Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Military Medal
Military Medal
(MM) Distinguished Flying Medal
Distinguished Flying Medal
(DFM) Mentioned in dispatches

Not the face of the enemy

Air Force Cross (AFC) Air Force Medal
Air Force Medal
(AFM) Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct

Distinguished service decorations

In the face of the enemy

Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)

Not the face of the enemy

Queen's Police Medal
Queen's Police Medal
for Distinguished Service (QPM) Queen's Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service (QFSM)

Civil bravery decorations

George Cross
George Cross
(GC) Albert Medal, First Class (AM) Albert Medal, First Class (Sea) (AM) Albert Medal, Second Class (AM) Albert Medal, Second Class (Sea) (AM) George Medal
George Medal
(GM) Queen's Police Medal
Queen's Police Medal
for Gallantry (QPM) Queen's Fire Service Medal for Gallantry (QFSM) Sea Gallantry Medal (SGM) Queen's Gallantry Medal (QGM) Edward Medal
Edward Medal
(EM) Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct

Nursing service

Member of the Royal Red Cross
Royal Red Cross
(RRC) Associate of the Royal Red Cross
Royal Red Cross
(ARRC)

Meritorious service

/ British Empire Medal
British Empire Medal
(BEM) Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service

v t e

South African military decorations and medals

Sorted in order of wear per era or 1994 constituent force

Pre-Union until 6 April 1952

Victoria Cross Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst Distinguished Service Order Distinguished Service Cross Military Cross Distinguished Flying Cross Air Force Cross Distinguished Conduct Medal Distinguished Conduct Medal
Distinguished Conduct Medal
(Natal) Conspicuous Gallantry Medal Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
(Flying) Distinguished Service Medal Military Medal Distinguished Flying Medal Air Force Medal British Empire Medal
British Empire Medal
(Military) South Africa
South Africa
Medal (1854) South Africa
South Africa
Medal (1880) Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal Queen's South Africa
South Africa
Medal Medalje voor de Anglo-Boere Oorlog Lint voor Verwonding King's South Africa
South Africa
Medal Natal Native Rebellion Medal 1914–15 Star British War Medal Victory Medal (South Africa) Mercantile Marine War Medal 1939–1945 Star Atlantic Star Arctic Star Air Crew Europe Star Africa Star Pacific Star Burma Star Italy Star France and Germany Star Defence Medal War Medal Africa Service Medal King George V Coronation Medal King George V Silver Jubilee Medal King George VI Coronation Medal Meritorious Service Medal (United Kingdom) Meritorious Service Medal (Cape of Good Hope) Meritorious Service Medal (Natal) Meritorious Service Medal (South Africa) Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Cape of Good Hope) Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Natal) Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Medal Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (South Africa) Volunteer Officers' Decoration for India and the Colonies Volunteer Long Service Medal for India and the Colonies Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal Efficiency Decoration (South Africa) Efficiency Medal (South Africa) Decoration for Officers of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Air Efficiency Award King's Medal for Champion Shots in the Military Forces Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
Commemoration Medal South African Medal for War Services Sir Harry Smith's Medal for Gallantry
Sir Harry Smith's Medal for Gallantry
(Unofficial) Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps Medal
Johannesburg Vrijwilliger Corps Medal
(Unofficial) Kimberley Star
Kimberley Star
(Unofficial) Cape Copper Company Medal for the Defence of O'okiep
Cape Copper Company Medal for the Defence of O'okiep
(Unofficial)

1952–1994

Honoris Crux Gold Star of South Africa, Gold Star of South Africa, Silver Star of South Africa
South Africa
(1952) Louw Wepener Decoration Honoris Crux (1952) Honoris Crux Silver Van Riebeeck Decoration Honoris Crux (1975) Pro Virtute Decoration Southern Cross Decoration Pro Merito Decoration Van Riebeeck Medal Louw Wepener Medal Ad Astra Decoration Army Cross Air Force Cross Navy Cross Medical Service Cross Southern Cross Medal (1952) Pro Merito Medal (1967) Southern Cross Medal (1975) Pro Merito Medal (1975) Danie Theron Medal Jack Hindon Medal Military Merit Medal Korea Medal Pro Patria Medal Southern Africa Medal General Service Medal (South Africa) Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
Coronation Medal Medal for Distinguished Conduct and Loyal Service Good Service Medal, Gold John Chard Decoration De Wet Decoration Cadet Corps Medal Good Service Medal, Silver Union Medal Permanent Force Good Service Medal John Chard Medal Good Service Medal, Bronze De Wet Medal Queen's Medal for Champion Shots in the Military Forces Commandant General's Medal SADF Champion Shot Medal National Cadet Bisley Grand Champion Medal

Transkei

Cross for Bravery Transkei Defence Force Medal Independence Medal (Transkei) Military Rule Medal Faithful Service Medal

Bophuthatswana

Order of the Leopard, Military Division, Commander Distinguished Gallantry Cross Defence Force Merit Decoration Distinguished Gallantry Medal Defence Force Merit Medal Marumo Medal, Class I Defence Force Commendation Medal Marumo Medal, Class II Nkwe Medal General Service Medal (Bophuthatswana) Independence Medal (Bophuthatswana) Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct, Gold Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct, Silver Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct, Bronze State President's Medal for Shooting

Venda

Gallantry Cross, Gold Gallantry Cross, Silver Distinguished Service Medal, Gold Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Venda Defence Force Medal General Service Medal (Venda) Independence Medal (Venda) Long Service Medal, Gold Long Service Medal, Silver Long Service Medal, Bronze

Ciskei

Sandile Decoration Sandile Medal Chief C.D.F. Commendation Medal Ciskei Defence Medal Independence Medal (Ciskei) Medal for Long Service, Bronze President's Medal for Shooting

Umkhonto we Sizwe

Star for Bravery in Gold Star for Bravery in Silver Conspicuous Leadership Star Decoration for Merit in Gold Merit Medal in Silver Merit Medal in Bronze Operational Medal for Southern Africa South Africa
South Africa
Service Medal Service Medal in Gold Service Medal in Silver Service Medal in Bronze

Azanian People's Liberation Army

Gold Star for Bravery Bravery Star in Silver Star for Conspicuous Leadership Gold Decoration for Merit Silver Medal for Merit Bronze Medal for Merit Operational Medal for Southern Africa South Africa
South Africa
Service Medal Gold Service Medal Silver Service Medal Bronze Service Medal

From 1994

Nkwe ya Gauta Nkwe ya Selefera iPhrothiya yeGolide Nkwe ya Boronse iPhrothiya yeSiliva iPhrothiya yeBhronzi Tshumelo Ikatelaho Unitas Medal Closure Commemoration Medal Medal

.