20 Facts About Victoria Cross


Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system.

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Queen Victoria Cross issued a warrant under the royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856 that officially constituted the VC.

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Queen Victoria Cross had instructed the War Office to strike a new medal that would not recognise birth or class.

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The first ceremony was held on 26 June 1857 at which Queen Victoria Cross invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park, London.

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Victoria Cross is suspended by a ring from a seriffed "V" to a bar ornamented with laurel leaves, through which the ribbon passes.

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Since 1917 a miniature of the Victoria Cross has been affixed to the centre of the ribbon bar when worn without the Victoria Cross.

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Victoria Cross awards are always promulgated in the London Gazette with the single exception of the award to the American Unknown Soldier in 1921.

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The Victoria Cross warrant makes no specific provision as to who should actually present the medals to the recipients.

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Queen Victoria Cross indicated that she would like to present the medals in person and she presented 185 medals out of the 472 gazetted during her reign.

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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.

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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.

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Victoria Cross was operating under British command and the VC was gazetted in 1867.

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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.

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Victoria Cross was awarded the Victoria Cross and the principle was established that gallant conduct could be rewarded independently of any political consideration of military operations.

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The Canadian Victoria Cross includes metal from the same cannon, along with copper and other metals from all regions of Canada.

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The Canadian Victoria Cross has been cast once, to be awarded to the Unknown Soldier at the rededication of the Vimy Memorial on 7April 2007, but pressure from veterans' organisations caused the plan to be dropped.

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Similar acts of extreme valour that do not take place in the face of the enemy are honoured with the George Victoria Cross, which has equal precedence but is awarded second because the GC is newer.

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In 1898, Queen Victoria Cross raised the pension to £50 for those that could not earn a livelihood, be it from old age or infirmity.

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Eight of the 12 surviving holders of the Victoria Cross attended the 150th Anniversary service of remembrance at Westminster Abbey on 26 June 2006.

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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.

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