The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest award presented to the British and Commonwealth armed forces for gallantry in action with the enemy.
“I don’t get the chance to present this very often.” – Queen Elizabeth II
BADCOE P.J. – VICTORIA CROSS Peter John Badcoe (Badcock) was born in Australia in 1934 and awarded his Victoria Cross whilst serving in South Vietnam in April 1967. He is interred in Terendak Military Cemetery, Malacca, Malaysia. note: In May 2016, the remains of 32 Australians were repatriated from this cemetery but, at the request of the family members, 3 Australian soldiers (Badcoe included) remain there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Badcoe
note: I photographed all the headstones during my visit there in 2012.
JOTHAM E. – VICTORIA CROSSEustace Jotham was born in the England in 1883 and served with the British Indian Army 1905-1915. He was awarded his Victoria Cross whilst serving in the North West Frontier in January 1915. His name is engraved on the Delhi Memorial (India Gate). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eustace_Jotham
CHOWNE A. – VICTORIA CROSSAlbert Chowne was born in Australia in 1920 and served with the Australian Army 1940-1945. He is interred in CWGC Lae War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Chowne
OSBORN J.R. – VICTORIA CROSS John Robert Osborn was born in England in 1899 and died in December 1941 (Aged 42) whilst serving with the Winnipeg Grenadiers in Hong Kong. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Robert_Osborn
SIMPSON R.S. – VICTORIA CROSSRayene Stewart Simpson was born in Australia in February 1926 and served with the Australian Army in WW2, the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency and Vietnam. He is interred in the British Commonwealth Forces Cemetery,
Yokohama, Japan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Simpson_(VC)
CWGC Taukkyan War Cemetery in Myanmar/Burma, has more VC commemorations (14) that any other War Cemetery in Asia.
List of those Victoria Cross holders with known graves (7):
Plot 13 Row A Grave 4: Allmand M. Indian Armoured Corps/6th Gurkha Rifles 24-06-44 Age 20
Plot 6 Row E Grave 2: Blaker F.G. Highland Light Infantry/9th Gurkha Rifles 09-07-44 Age 24
Plot 6 Row A Grave 4: Cairns G.A. Somerset Light Infantry/South Staffs Regt 19-03-44 Age 30
Plot 12 Row H Grave 2: Hoey C.F. The Lincolnshire Regt 17-02-44 Age 30
Plot 11 Row J Grave 1: Knowland G.A. Royal Norfolk Regt/No1 Commando 31-01-45 Age 22
Plot 12 Row G Grave 9: Raymond C. Royal Engineers 22-03-45 Age 21
Plot 20 Row A Grave 7: Weston W.B. The Green Howards/West Yorks Regt 03-03-45 Age 21
List of Victoria Cross holders whose names appear on the Cremation Memorial (1) and the Rangoon Memorial (6):
Cremation Memorial Column 25: Judge K.S. 15th Punjab Regt 18-03-45 Age 21
Rangoon Memorial Face 4 Horwood A.G. The Queens Royal Regt/West Surrey 20-01-44 Age 30
Rangoon Memorial Face 30 Singh R.S. 1st Punjab Regiment 25-10-44 Age 25
Rangoon Memorial Face 39 Din F. 10th Beluchi Regiment 02-03-45 Age 23
Rangoon Memorial Face 43 Singh P. 13th Frontier Force Rifles 17-02-45 Age 31
Rangoon Memorial Face 48 Shah S. 16th Punjab Regiment 20-01-45 Age 27
Rangoon Memorial Face 63 Thapa N.B. 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles 26-06-44 Age 28
HARVEY N. – VICTORIA CROSSNorman Harvey was born in England in 1899 and was serving with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was awarded his Victoria Cross whilst in Belgium. He went on to serve in WW2 with the Royal Engineers and died in Israel on 16th February 1942 (Aged 42). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Harvey
BROWN W.E. – VICTORIA CROSSWalter Ernest Brown was born in Tasmania, Australia in 1885 and fought in both WW1 and WW2. It was in June 1918, whilst serving in France, that he was awarded his Victoria Cross. It was whilst fighting in Singapore in February 1942 (Aged 56) that he disappeared: his body has never been found.
MACKEY J. – VICTORIA CROSSJohn Mackey was born in Australia in 1922 and, due to his actions during the Borneo Campaign, was awarded his Victoria Cross in May 1945. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Mackey
THAPA N. – VICTORIA CROSSNetrabahadur Thapa was born in Nepal in 1916 and was awarded his Victoria Cross for actions carried out in June 1944 whilst serving in India with the 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netrabahadur_Thapa
CURTIS P.K.E. – VICTORIA CROSSPhilip Kenneth Edward Curtis was born in England in 1926 and received his Victoria Cross in April 1951 whilst serving with UN Forces in Korea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Curtis
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE VICTORIA CROSS
01. November 11th 1921 – Tomb Of The Unknowns (Arlington National Cemetery) – a Victoria Cross was placed inside the coffin of “The Unknown Soldier” killed in WW1.
02. To-date, no woman has ever been awarded the Victoria Cross.
03. The Victoria Cross was created on 29th January 1856 and a total of 1363 Victoria Crosses have been awarded to-date, with the first one presented by Queen Victoria, herself, in June 1857
04. The small ‘v-lug’ – connecting the ribbon to the cross – was designed by Queen Victoria.
05. The original colour of the ribbon was wine-red/crimson for the Army and dark-blue for the Navy, and after the founding of the Royal Air Force in 1918, it became a standard wine-red/crimson for all 3 Services.
06. Hancocks & Co. London (see links page) have produced every Victoria Cross since 1856
07. The front of the Cross has the words “For Valour” and bears the Royal Crest and on the rear is engraved the recipient’s name, rank, regiment, unit and date that act of bravery was performed.
08. The Victoria Cross is made of bronze – the source of which has been open to speculation over-the-years: https://www.telegraph.co.uk
09. The Victoria Cross has only been awarded 15 times since WW2. The last occasion was in February 2015 when Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey (Parachute Regiment), received his medal at Lancaster House. note: Leakey’s second cousin – twice removed – Sergeant Nigel Gray Leakey, won the same medal in May 1945 for actions in Africa during WW2.
10. The George Cross, created by King George VI in 1940, is the highest Commonwealth award for non-military/peace-time acts-of-bravery. It is considered to be equal to the Victoria Cross.
11. Three men have been awarded the Victoria Cross twice-over: Captain Noel Chavasse in 1916 and 1917 and Surgeon Captain Arthur Martin-Leake in 1902 and 1914 (both of The Royal Army Medical Corps) and Captain Charles Upham in 1941 and 1942 (2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force). note: In 2009, the VC and Bar awarded to Captain Chavasse was sold at auction for a figure of c£1.45 million.
12. Both a Victoria Cross or George Cross act-of-bravery has to be witnessed by a number of people before a recommendation/report is sent to the Monarch for approval.
13. Both Thomas Flinn (in 1857) and Andrew Fitzgibbon (in 1860) were awarded the Victoria Cross when they were, each, only 15 years and 2 months old.
LEST WE FORGET