The title says it all really. This is a full chronological record of all the VCs won from the first one awarded to Boatswains Mate Charles Lucas on 21 June 1854 while serving on HMS Hecla off Finland to LCpl Joss Leakey on 22 August 2013 in Afghanistan.
- Kevin Brazier
The list also includes the VC awarded to the United States “Unknown Soldier“ following the US awarding the British Unknown Warrior the Medal of Honor.
Each winner has a short description of why it was awarded, with the later, more recent ones, getting slightly longer write-ups.
The book starts with a short history of the Cross and then the Terms and Warrant that set it up. The next section is a roll of Honour for all VC winners, where they are buried, if known. The section is again chronological with each one given a number starting with Lucas as Number 1. This is useful when the later section showing where the VC holders not still alive have been buried. There are 70 VC winners with no known grave.
The next, and main, section deals with each of the VC winners in chronological order giving brief details of the action(s) for which the VC was awarded.. Brazier explains how he has dealt with those awarded on the same day going by time of day if known, then by rank, then by alphabetical order. This section is broken down further into Campaigns or periods i.e. Late Victorian Period 1878-1889 but still in chronological order.
The last major section of the book is burial locations for VC holders where known. This is a listing of graveyards with a number or numbers beside it referring to the number given in the Roll of Honour. For instance, the Blue Beach War Cemetery in Falklands Ilslands has the number 1353 beside it, referring to ‘H’ Jones.
Lastly there is an alphabetical listing of all winners, with the number allocated by Brazier and the page number they are on, which allows one to find individuals very easily. There is also a good Bibliography for further reading should you wish.
All in all, a simple yet very comprehensive record of all VC winners and one that will be used as a reference point by many.
4/5 for such a comprehensive book.