The Victoria Cross (VC) was introduced by Queen Victoria on 29 January 1856 during the Crimean War and since then has recognized "acts of extreme bravery carried out under direct enemy fire." Awarded to any military rank, it is the highest award of the honours system in the United Kingdom for acts of gallantry. Previously, the VC was awarded to members of all Commonwealth countries, however, most no longer use the long-standing British award, having now established their own honours systems. Since introduction it has been awarded to 1,354 recipients – although it has been awarded 1,358 times.
- "For Valour", the inscription on the front of the Victoria Cross, is a traditional word for bravery and was personally chosen by Queen Victoria.
- "For the Brave", the initial suggestion for the inscription, was turned down by the Queen for the reason that she believed all her solders to be brave.
- A captured gun from the Crimean War was the traditional material used to forge the hand-made Victoria Cross.
- The monetary value of the Victoria Cross was deliberately intended to be minimal, however, today they are sought-after collectors items.
- The true value of the Victoria Cross is embodied in what it stands for, the people and the act involved to be awarded it.
- From 1902 onwards the Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously to those who died while carrying out their gallant act. Since that date there have been 295 posthumous Victoria Crosses awarded.
- The Victoria Cross act has to be seen by several witnesses. After it has been considered, it is sent for approval by the monarch.
- The youngest recipients of the Victoria Cross were awarded in 1857 to Thomas Flinn and in 1860 to Andrew Fitzgibbon. Both recipients were a mere 15 years and 3 months old.
- The oldest recipient of the Victoria Cross was awarded in 1857 to 69 year old William Raynor. He defended an ammunition store in Delhi for five hours in 1857.
Glossary of words and phrases[edit source]
The above term is listed in our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of Great Britain during the Great War. Included are trench slang, service terms, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. These words and phrases are contemporary to the war, which is reflected in the language used. They have been transcribed from three primary sources (see Contents). Feel free to expand upon and improve this content.
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- Victoria Cross Wikipedia: The free encyclopaedia. Accessed 28 August, 2016.
- Facts and figures about the Victoria Cross and George Cross Imperial War Museum, London. Press Release. Accessed 28 August, 2016.