I watched as well, thought it was very good, and was not sensationalised either.
I did find it may have helped that it was his wife's father!, but without doubt was a well deserved award by allaccounts.
Absolutely fantastic programme. I enjoyed every minute of it. I'm a big Clarkson fan and when he let it out that Cain was his wife's dad, his timing was spot on!
It was one of the few programmes which I hoped wouldn't end. I could have easily sat through three days of that, without leaving my couch. It was interesting to see how they coped after the award. I thought it was a cheek, when some civil servant wrote on the Catalina pilots reference that 'there was an element of self preservation' along side the agreement to his VC.......the man had been hit 74 times, half his crew were dead, he'd just sunk a German U boat and he managed to fly for one hour after the fact in order to save the remnants of his crew? Civil servants eh?
The Gurkha killing 37 japs with his rifle ....which he could only load and fire with his left hand, having been shot through the right arm earlier and the lad from the Black Watch who threw beer bottles and bricks at the Koreans.....you just sit in awe of these men. I know that I did.
Each and every one of those servicemen had a great story.
Superb programme - stories of amazing men presented with great respect.
A similar comment by the civil servant (might have been a politician) to that made in the Catalina incident was also made in the case of Flight Sergeant Arthur Louis Aaron, who won a VC for piloting his damaged Stirling home after being grievously wounded; he subsequently died from his injuries, but saved his crew. I went to the same school as Aaron, and his medal and citation were in the school hall. Not any more, as the family had them moved in the last few years due to vandalism. However, I remember seeing it almost every day in my youth. FS Aaron was 19, the same age as the young man who has just won the GC in the Gulf.
I read a book a few years back which had the same title 'For Valour, the last 10 VCs' I could not put it down these men were people apart who really gave above and beyond the call of duty and got thier rewards.
Who can remember the programme a coulpe of years back about the gurhkas, and about the VC winner been carried down the moutain by his son to collect his VC pension?
Major R H Cain joined the Honouable Artillary Company as a Trooper in 1928, and on the outbreak of war was commisioned and posted to the South Staffs.
Described as the finest VC of WW2 'his powers of endurance and leadership were the admiration of all his fellow officers and stories of his valour were being constantly exchanged amongst troops. His coolness and courage under incessant fire could not be surpassed.'
In the medal room in Armory House there are also two V.C.'s from the Great War and a description of the action earning them.
A chap in WW2 was Court Martialled for threatening to shoot an Air Commodore (it's a long story) and his defence was that the AC was actually a civil servant and not a proper officer and so he couldn't be charged with threatening a superior officer. The Court agreed.
I would like to add my name to those above endorsing a cracking programme. Well made, good story, compelling viewing and dead on punchline - Oscars have been awarded for less. Apart from the quite outstanding subjects of the programme, I think Clarkson did himself a few favours as well. He comes across as a more serious broadcaster with that edge they all seek - without the cynicism which has crept into his programmes in the past. I think he has found a better niche for himself.
Man from my family by the name of Osborn, fought in Hong Kong. From what i recal being told he was on a hill being attacked (by China i presume), he was co-ordinating a defence and the enemy got close-enough to throw hand-grenades. He threw them back until one landed in such a place that it was impossible to return it whereupon she shouted a warning to his men and threw himself on top of it. It exploded, killing him instantly.
These people are truly amazing and deserve all the respect they get and more...