victoria cross

VICTORIA CROSS
VICTORIA CROSS
The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for valour "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, of which 11 were to members of the British Army and four were to members of 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 cannons captured at the Siege of Sevastopol. However, research has indicated another origin for the material. Historian John Glanfield has established that the metal for most of the medals made since December 1914 came from two Chinese cannons, and that there is no evidence of Russian origin.

Owing to its rarity, the VC is highly prized and the medal has fetched over £400,000 at auctions. 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.

Beginning with the Centennial of Confederation in 1967, Canada, followed in 1975 by Australia and New Zealand, 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.
  1. PARAS 2 Leakey, Joshua (Josh)

    SURNAME Leakey FORENAME Joshua (Josh) UNIT 1 Para (SFSG) RANK Lance Corporal NUMBER AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Afghanistan 2013 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 28.01.1988 from Hampshire son of Mark and Rosie Leakey educated Witham Hall Preparatory School (1999-2006) joined British...
  2. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS 2 Baird, Cameron Stewart

    SURNAME Baird FORENAME Cameron Stewart UNIT 4 Bn (Commando) Royal Australian Regiment + 2 Commando Regiment RANK Lance Corporal + Corporal NUMBER 8231781 AWARD Victoria Cross,Medal for Gallantry PLACE Afghanistan 2007 (MG) Afghanistan 2013 (VC) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION KIA - see...
  3. SASR Roberts-Smith, Benjamin (Ben)

    SURNAME Roberts-Smith FORENAME Benjamin (Ben) UNIT 3 Squadron RANK Lance Corporal + Corporal NUMBER AWARD Victoria Cross,Medal Of Gallantry PLACE Afghanistan 2006 (MG) Afghanistan 2010 (VC) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 1.11.1978 Perth,Western Australia son of Maj. General...
  4. DAMBUSTERS Cheshire, Geoffrey Leonard

    SURNAME Cheshire FORENAME Geoffrey Leonard UNIT 617 Squadron, R.A.F.V.R. RANK Wing Commander NUMBER 72021 AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE London Gazette 8.9.1944 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 7.9.1917 65 Hooke Road, Hoole, Cheshire son of Geoffrey Chevalier and (Burella) Primrose...
  5. DAMBUSTERS Gibson, Guy Penrose

    SURNAME Gibson FORENAME Guy Penrose UNIT 617 Squadron, R.A.F.O. RANK Wing Commander NUMBER 39438 AWARD Victoria Cross, Legion of Merit (Commander) (US) PLACE Germany (Dams) 1943 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION KIA - see Roll of Honour
  6. SASR Donaldson, Mark Gregor Strang (Donno)

    SURNAME Donaldson FORENAME Mark Gregor Strang (Donno) UNIT RANK Trooper NUMBER AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Afghanistan 2008 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 1979 Newcastle,New South Wales raised Dorrigo,New South Wales son of late Greg and late Bernadette Donaldson,Dorrigo,New...
  7. SASNZ Apiata, Bill Henry (Willy)

    SURNAME Apiata FORENAME Bill Henry (Willy) UNIT NZSAS RANK Lance Corporal NUMBER M181550 AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Afghanistan 2004 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 28.6.1972 Mangakino,New Zealand grew up Te Kaha,Bay of Plenty separated from partner (1 son) attended...
  8. PARAS Queripel, Lionel Ernest

    SURNAME Queripel FORENAME Lionel Ernest UNIT 10 Bn (Royal Sussex Regiment,attached) RANK Captain NUMBER 108181 AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Arnhem 1944 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION KIA - see Roll of Honour IMAGES:
  9. PARAS Grayburn, John Hollington (Jack)

    SURNAME Grayburn FORENAME John Hollington (Jack) UNIT 2 Bn (A Company) RANK Lieutenant NUMBER 149002 AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Arnhem 1944 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION KIA - see Roll of Honour IMAGES:
  10. CANADIAN PARA Topham, Frederick George (Toppy)

    SURNAME Topham FORENAME Frederick George (Toppy) UNIT C Company RANK Corporal NUMBER AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Germany 1945 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 10.8.1917 Toronto, Ontario educated King George Public School and Runnymede High School hard-rock miner, Wright...
  11. PARAS 2 Budd, Bryan James

    SURNAME Budd FORENAME Bryan James UNIT 3 Para (A Company) RANK Corporal NUMBER 25048092 AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Afghanistan 2006 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION KIA - see Roll of Honour
  12. PARAS 2 McKay, Ian John

    SURNAME McKay FORENAME Ian John UNIT 3 Para RANK Sergeant NUMBER AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Falklands 1982 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION KIA - see Roll of Honour
  13. PARAS 2 Jones, Herbert

    SURNAME Jones FORENAME Herbert UNIT 2 Para (Commanding Officer) RANK Lieutenant Colonel NUMBER 465788 AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Falklands 1982 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION KIA - see Roll of Honour IMAGES:
  14. X CRAFT AND CHARIOTS Place, Basil Charles Godfrey

    SURNAME Place FORENAME Basil Charles Godfrey UNIT R.N. HM Submarine X 7 RANK Lieutenant NUMBER AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Tirpitz 1943 (Op.Source) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 19.7.1921 Little Malvern, Worcestershire 1943 married Althea Anningson Place (1921-2016) later Rear...
  15. X CRAFT AND CHARIOTS Magennis, James Joseph

    SURNAME Magennis FORENAME James Joseph UNIT R.N. HM Submarines X 7 + XE 3 RANK Able Seaman + A/Leading Seaman NUMBER AWARD Victoria Cross, Mention in Despatches PLACE Tirpitz 1943 (MiD) (Op.Source) Singapore 1945 (VC) (Op.Struggle) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 27.10.1919...
  16. X CRAFT AND CHARIOTS Fraser, Ian Edward (Titch)

    SURNAME Fraser FORENAME Ian Edward (Titch) UNIT R.N.R. HM Submarine XE 3 RANK Lieutenant NUMBER AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Singapore 1945 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 18.12.1920 Ealing,London elder son of Sydney Fraser educated Royal Grammar School,High Wycombe educated HMS...
  17. X CRAFT AND CHARIOTS Cameron, Donald

    SURNAME Cameron FORENAME Donald UNIT R.N.R. HM Submarine X 6 RANK Lieutenant NUMBER AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Tirpitz 1943 (Op.Source) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 18.3.1916 Carluke, Lanarkshire Merchant Navy since age 17 1940 married Eve Kilpatrick (4 children) lieutenant...
  18. CHINDITS 1944 Tul Bahadur Pun,

    SURNAME Tul Bahadur Pun FORENAME UNIT 3 Bn 6th Gurkha Rifles (77 Ind.Bde) (B Company) RANK Rifleman NUMBER 10119 AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Burma 1944 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 23.3.1923 Banduk Village, Parbat District, Nepal Indian Army 1941 3/6 Gurkha Rifles WIA...
  19. CHINDITS 1944 Allmand, Michael

    SURNAME Allmand FORENAME Michael UNIT 6th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers,I.A.C.,att 3/6th Gurkha Rifles (77 Ind.Bde) RANK Captain NUMBER EC/8188 AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Burma 1944 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION KIA - see Roll of Honour
  20. CHINDITS 1944 Blaker, Frank Gerald

    SURNAME Blaker FORENAME Frank Gerald UNIT Highland Light Infantry,att 3/9th Gurkha Rifles (111 Ind.Bde) RANK Major NUMBER 193864 AWARD Victoria Cross PLACE Burma 1944 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION KIA - see Roll of Honour
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