The VC as an award has always been shackled by the greater propaganda needs of senior defence and government and that is still the case. For every VC awarded there are always nameless comrades who were next to the hero, doing the same thing and went unrecognised. In the the past there have been awards of the VC by ballot during an action of group valour. Ships have gone down down in action and the captain got the VC, not the seaman who went down firing his gun to the last. Submarine captains have got the VC and his crew got nothing. Of all the awards of a VC, officers have recieved 65% of them, but realistically, are officers generally at the forefront of the combat? The recent Australian awards of VCs for Australia, were made of the same gun metal, at the same London jewellers as the British version and were approved by the Queen in the same way as any British award. They were well deserved but they were the same as VC's from the past... soldiers who were part of the action and performed similar acts of bravery were left unrecognised. When assessing from afar potential VC recognition, you must not forget the reality, that such a high award bears little resemblance to what actually happened on the ground.