Decent article in Independent, have reproduced last section. One comment may intrest Arrssers on Sgt Luke O'Conner. "the only British soldier to serve in every rank of the British Army." http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2465965.ece The first Victoria Crosses * Mate C D Lucas was the first serviceman to receive the VC. When a Russian shell landed on the deck of his ship, HMS Hecla, during the Crimean War in June 1854, the 20-year-old disobeyed the order to lie down and saved many lives by throwing the shell overboard before it exploded. * Sergeant Luke O'Connor, 23rd Regiment (later the Royal Welch Fusiliers), received the first Army VC for his bravery during the Crimean War when, while fighting the Battle of Alma in September 1854, he led the charge of his regiment with the Queen's Colour, which he took from a dying comrade. Also recognised for his gallantry at the assault on the Redan on 8 September 1855, where he was shot through both thighs. He rose to the rank of field marshal and became the only British soldier to serve in every rank of the British Army. * 2nd Lieutenant William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse, Special Reserve, 2 Squadron Royal Flying Corps, was awarded the airborne services' first VC for his part in the First World War. On a return journey from Courtrai, Belgium, in April 1915, where he bombed a rail line, he was mortally wounded but managed to fly 35 miles to report the success of his mission before dying.