The VC - Too difficult to win??

Is it recorded how many people have turned down the VC ?

I gather at least one Shakey Boat lad turned it down for rescuing a Septic as to receive it would have meant stopping ops.

It might be seen as something of a poisoned chalice ........

D_B
Is it actually possible to turn down a VC? Or any other bravery medal for that matter?
 
Is it actually possible to turn down a VC? Or any other bravery medal for that matter?
I'd have quite liked to win an MC or similar, but I certainly woulnd't have wanted the fame that seems to go with a GC/VC these days. I can't imagine there's much they can do if you refuse it. Half the purpose of medals is PR, and it would be a PR own goal to charge someone for politely refusing a medal.
 

263A

War Hero
crazy_legs
You do not WIN the VC
 
'Looking back at the Navy's list of awards, again raises the point about officers and men. Roughly 2:1 ratio in favour of the Ruperts and Rodneys.'

And look at who got the DSOs - it's like a roll call of the ship's captains that happened to be there at the time (it seems to be the same for regimental COs). It's all right for the ship's captain to announce to the crew that the decoration was awarded to the ship and 'I wear it for you, men', but in a few years time, it will be Captain xxxxx who was awarded the DSO for the Falklands war. I have worked with a number of ex-matelots who served in the Falklands and, after a couple of wets, stories start to come out of skippers who put the ship in unneccesary harms way in order to get a bit of glory.....
 

263A

War Hero
Mamma and Pappa may have had a penny or two in the old tommy tank.
 
What about collective awards ? The Glosters wear the US Presidential Unit Citation, the 6th Black Watch used to wear the French Croix de Guerre ribbon on top of its sleeves (maybe it still does, don't know)...in a way it's been done already hasn't it ?

Another option adopted by several countries is the French principle of the fourragere which marks the fact that a unit has been awarded a collective award. It could be too much with the battalion lanyards though...Several US Army and USMC units currently wear French fourrageres for WWI or WW2 actions just like several french units have the right to wear the US Presidential Unit Citation.

Fourragère - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
The Devon and Donuts wore the Croix de Guerre 1914-18 pattern ribbon, on the sleeve. 5 Gibraltar Bty used to wear it on the beret under the cap-badge.

 
Do the Rifles still have the D&D distinction in their dress? Since battery amalgamations, the Croix de Guerre is still worn by 19/5 (GIBRALTAR 1779-1783) Battery RA.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Do the Rifles still have the D&D distinction in their dress? Since battery amalgamations, the Croix de Guerre is still worn by 19/5 (GIBRALTAR 1779-1783) Battery RA.
The Rifles could also lay claim to the C de G via 5 LI courtesy of the 4 KSLI action at Bligny in 1918. To the point of this thread, one of the officers on that day was also awarded an individual Croix de Guerre for his actions but got bugger all from the British. Plus ca change, plus ce meme chose, as they would probably have said at the award ceremony.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
Do the Rifles still have the D&D distinction in their dress? Since battery amalgamations, the Croix de Guerre is still worn by 19/5 (GIBRALTAR 1779-1783) Battery RA.
Yes, it is worn on both shoulders of all dress uniforms; No.1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10 & 11, for all ranks.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Did the RA not win the right to a special lanyard at some point, can't remember the exact details but I'm sure some wind-up merchant, sorry, gentleman, could remind me
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Did the RA not win the right to a special lanyard at some point, can't remember the exact details but I'm sure some wind-up merchant, sorry, gentleman, could remind me
If I may, I think you're referring to the Battle of Dettingen, Trelawny's Troop.

Trelawny, having got hopelessly lost on the approach march, deployed his guns in the face of enemy skirmishers and hit the target, the North Face of the Eiger, with his sixty seventh shot. Seeing this he shouted out to encourage his men:
"This is money for old rope!"
On hearing this, George the Second awarded the lanyard, or "old rope" with the strict instructions that it was to be worn as a badge of honour until the next time the RA hit the target. It is worn proudly to this day.

Hope that helps.
 
As an aside to this excellent topic, can i quote the tale of a recipient from the 1st Battalion The Manchester Regiment
Issy Smith an Aussy cockney is a fine example of someone who deservedly earned the VC. His actions whilst serving with the 1st Btn Manchester Regiment during the second battle of Ypres, exemplify why the honour is bestowed so rarely. But also they highlight the crass way that politicians used the awardees. After the VC was awarded, and he had recovered his health in Dublin, he was almost immediately sent on a recruitment drive by the war office. This meant that he was paraded the length and breadth of the country as an example to potential recruits. He was lorded by the King and civic leaders everywhere, yet still couldn't dine at the Grand Restaurant in Leeds. The proprietor refused to serve him because he was Jewish, yet was happy to allow others in his party to dine. Non of those dignatries present stood up for him, which says a lot about the political situation at the time, VC or not. The award of Smiths VC was more than merited, and he handled all the prestige well, eventually settling back in his native Australia. But i wonder if the transient fame was also a price too high to pay for some of the other recipients who found life a struggle after the war, in the land fit for heroes. When the war ended there were a few cases where recipients found themselves destitute, and gongs were pawned or sold for a measley few quid...So to answer the question "Should we award the VC more often?" I would say NO because those gallantry awards are given as examples of an individuals courage in the face of the enemy, which bring deserved kudos on both the recipient and their units involved in the action. It would take a pretty mealymouthed twat to deny the award to a deserving mucker, just because they were there too but didn't get one aswell. The bar is set so high for a reason, so i don't see why we should lower it? We currently know what general criteria merits a VC. It would demean it's value and belittle the efforts of those past recipents, if we arbitrerily move those criteria. Which in turn, may cast doubt on the validity of some future VC winners right to the award...If it ain't broke etc!
 
Did the RA not win the right to a special lanyard at some point, can't remember the exact details but I'm sure some wind-up merchant, sorry, gentleman, could remind me
Dropping short and Lanyard related bollox: Correlation or Causation? Discuss.
 

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