G.Brown Vetoes the VC coin.

Taken from the Telegraph today:

Brown rejects design for VC coin as too gloomy
By Neil Tweedie
(Filed: 21/06/2005)

Gordon Brown has vetoed a new design for the 50p piece celebrating the creation of the Victoria Cross because it shows a British soldier about to be shot in the back.

The Chancellor, who must authorise currency designs before submitting them to the Queen for final approval, is said to prefer a more "positive" image for the back of the coin, which will be issued next year to mark the 150th year of the country's highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

He was unimpressed by the sculptor Clive Duncan's depiction of a soldier attempting to carry a wounded comrade to safety while caught in the cross-hairs of an enemy sniper's rifle.

However, a friend of the artist yesterday described Mr Brown as championing a "histrionic rather than realistic" approach to the subject of bravery under fire.

In a letter to the Royal Mint, a member of Mr Brown's private office requested that "further thought" be given to the design before it was referred to Buckingham Palace.

The letter went on: "He [Mr Brown] appreciates the designer's attempt to portray the courage and selflessness of the British soldier carrying a wounded comrade while under fire, but he feels that the particular image of a British soldier apparently about to be shot in the back will not seem appropriate to many people, particularly to the families of fallen servicemen and women."

The rejection has caused some embarrassment to the Mint, which is used to having its designs accepted by the Treasury. The offending "gloomy" version was chosen by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, chaired by Sir Christopher Frayling, chairman of the Arts Council. Some 30 million new 50p pieces are due to be issued to celebrate the VC.
There is no substance to the rumour that G.Brown felt that, rather than crosshairs, a Treasury Knife would be more appropriate :twisted:
Notwithstanding the debate 'raging' above, this is what the Street of Shame had to say about the introduction of the 50p in 1969:

New 50-pence coin sparks confusion

The seven-sided 50p coin has come into circulation to replace the 10-shilling note - but it has received a mixed reception.
It is the third decimal coin to be introduced into the British currency which goes totally decimal on 15 February, 1971, to be known as D-Day.

The British public have already got accustomed to the new 5p and 10p coins introduced last year. There are still three coins left to come - the 2p worth 4.8d, 1p (2.4d) and half pence (1.2d).

Today's new arrival, made of cupro-nickel, is the only heptagonal coin in circulation in the world, according to Lord Fiske, chairman of the Decimal Currency Board (DCB).

But some shopkeepers, bus conductors and members of the public are complaining that in spite of its distinctive shape it is too easily confused with the 10-pence coin or half crown.

One Londoner told the Evening News he accidentally left a 50p coin in a saucer full of 10ps as a tip for a waiter.

"Fortunately the waiter was dead honest and told me. But I suspect there'll be a lot of cases where that doesn't happen," he said.

Economic reasons for change

The DCB has stockpiled 120 million 50-pence coins at banks around the country ready for today's introduction of the coin, making it the largest ever issue of a new coin.

Lord Fiske said the reason for this was to replace the 200 million ten-bob notes as soon as possible.

He said the issue would eventually save the Treasury money. "The note is being replaced primarily on economic grounds. A 10s note has a life of some five months and the costs of distribution and withdrawal are comparatively high.

"Although a 50p coin will cost more to produce initially, it should have a life of at least 50 years and the metal will subsequently be recoverable."

But many people were unhappy with the new addition to their purses and pockets.
For the full story, click here!

All of which just goes to show that the general populace will whinge about anything and everything...now back on thread. :D
I think it the **** right the design is poo .At least lose the cross hairs
for **** sake the vc is about bravery not getting slotted !Whats wrong with a charging soldier .
Since you have to be a member to login to to read the story, and i cant be arrsed to join
is there a picture of what the coin is at the moment?
The design is dreadful, and does not seem to have any visual link to the VC (and if you're a spotter, then the graticule of the "enemy sniper scope" is not really like anything ever used against Commonwealth troops).

Pity that the PC brigade have focussed on the "saving wounded comrades under fire" aspect of the VC, rather than valiant combat actions (eg the various aircrew & naval awards) or heroism during actual hand-to-hand fighting (most of the land forces awards).


Book Reviewer
Interesting thought -

Could any spotter out there tell us roughly how many VCs have been awarded for the 'rescuing' sort of Action, as opposed to 'close action' (Beharry, the D-Day Sgt Major, Boy Cornwall) or 'combat action' ( Leonard Cheshire, etc).

I'm surprised Gay Gordon didn't veto it, and replace it with a commemoration of the GC or GM.
I really hate to say this, but I think he was right to veto it. I reckon it looks pants!
That shows nothing to do with the valour for which the medal is won.

and as much as i loath to say this but i actually agree with blubber brown
It isn't even a particularly dynamic portrayal, surely a fireman's carry or similar would be a better image or better Clarkson's father-in-law taking on a Tiger with his PIAT.
Definitely a crap design.
What's wrong with a simple reproduction of the medal, with "For Valour" underneath?
Those who care would know the rest.


Book Reviewer
Booty said:
I agree. Just an image of the medal cross would say it all.
Hear, hear. well said that man. Let us honour the noble and valiant by showing the correct level of respect, that means not using that ridiculous design done by a walt of the highest order.
I haven't seen the design chaps ( the Sun link's expired) but I think it sounds appropriate. It's a very remarkable thing to charge, adrenaline fuelled, up a slope to capture a machine gun position a la Colonel H. But it's a colder, more deliberate act of courage to venture into No Man's Land, to rescue a wounded comrade and to carry him back to safety, unable to defend oneself.

A WW1 general said that if he had a thousand VC's to award, every single one would go to stretcher bearers. It's also worth looking at the roles of those few who were awarded VC and bar.

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