Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Saturday, January 5, 2019

About the Victoria Cross

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. The Victoria Cross (VC) medal was instituted on 5 February 1856 with awards retroactive to 1854. The first award to a Canadian was in February 1857, to Lt. Alexander DUNN (Charge of the Light Brigade). There have been 1,351 Victoria Crosses and 3 Bars awarded worldwide. During the First World War there were 628 awards to 627 individuals. Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse, VC with Bar, MC, was a double recipient of the award.

Description: A cross pattee, 1.375 inches across, with a dark brown finish. Made from cannons captured from the Russians during the Crimean War.

Obverse: The obverse displays the Royal Crown surmounted by a lion guardant. Below the crown, a scroll bearing the inscription: FOR VALOUR.

Reverse: Raised edges with the date of the act engraved within a raised circle.

Mounting: A straight bar (ornamented with laurels), slotted for the ribbon, has a V-lug below. A small link joins the V-lug to a semi-circular lug on the top of the cross.

Ribbon: The crimson ribbon is 1.5 inches wide and a miniature cross is worn on the ribbon in undress. The ribbon was dark blue for naval recipients until 1918.  

Naming: The recipient’s rank, name, and regiment are engraved on the reverse of the mounting bar.

Sources: The Vimy Ridge Project, Cyril Mazansky Collection

1 comment:

  1. Supposedly Queen Victoria was consulted on the design of the medal and, as proposed, it had "For Bravery" printed on it. The Queens's comment was that all soldiers were "Brave" and that "For Valor" be substituted. So it was. Tom Morgan