The VC - Too difficult to win??

I live in the county celebrating 6 VC's before breakfast, I am currently researching my family history in WWI and have yet to see any posthumous awards. Not in my family, I mean at all.
 

Petardier

War Hero
Since the end of WW2 16 Vcs have been awarded as follows:

NZ - 1 (NZSAS Afg)
Aust - 6 (4 AATTV in SVN, incl 2 posthumous, you could roughly equate AATTV to US Green Berets, none awarded to 'normal' troops), 2 SASR Afg)
UK - 9 (4 Korea, incl 2 posthumous), Borneo 1, FI 2 posthumous, Iraq 1, Afg 1 posthumous), all infantry in a conventional role.

There are various interpretations that could be put on all this.

When Aust instituted a new set of military decorations and service medals (bling aplenty) in 1991 they included unit citations similar to the US type.

We should also remember that a RM was awarded a Medal of Honor for Afg in 2001.
 
I believe he was the Father of Maj. Philip Neame who was OC of one of the companies at Goose Green.. the only OC in 2 Para who didnt receive a gong after the Falklands War.... by some accounts an unsung 'hero' but one who alledgedly didnt get on with H Jones (who shouldnt have got the VC in my opinion) but I was neither there nor served in Para regt so I don't know feck all apart from what I have read!
 
I believe he was the Father of Maj. Philip Neame who was OC of one of the companies at Goose Green.. the only OC in 2 Para who didnt receive a gong after the Falklands War.... by some accounts an unsung 'hero' but one who alledgedly didnt get on with H Jones (who shouldnt have got the VC in my opinion) but I was neither there nor served in Para regt so I don't know feck all apart from what I have read!
You are right about H Jones. Interesting article below about him and Phil Neame.

Was Colonel 'H' a mad fool? Part 2 | News
 
You are right about H Jones. Interesting article below about him and Phil Neame.

Was Colonel 'H' a mad fool? Part 2 | News
Yes mate, I've read Spearhead Assault, and also Forgotten voices of the Falkands which is also a very good book, both books basically say the same thing with more than one person saying it! It seems a shame that Phil Neame didnt get an MC like his counterparts but I guess he must have pished of more people than H Jones who obviosuly wasnt kicking around afterwards to write up the citations!
 
A VC gets you close to Holly Willoughby's boobies these days on Dancing On Ice. Well worth the near death experience I say.
 
I’ve read several recent MC citations that have made me think that, surely that must be in the VC category..!

I remember watching one of those VC tv documentaries where one of the recipients said that when he was to be awarded his medal that someone said to him, “That the VC is a cross to bear”..!


I believe he was the Father of Maj. Philip Neame who was OC of one of the companies at Goose Green.. the only OC in 2 Para who didnt receive a gong after the Falklands War....
I was once instructed on a tactics course by a passed over Major who was reportedly the only OC in the Falklands to lead a company assault without any Arty fire support.. If true, my initial thoughts at the time were that he must have seriously pissed someone off...!
:pissedoff:
 
A bit premature but you never know, we might be about to have another one...

British soldier killed in Afghanistan disobeyed order and ran to help injured colleague - Telegraph
Brave lad but using the vallon to reach his mucker would only have taken a minute more and he'd still be with us today. Unfortunately the injured party can also bleed out whilst waiting for his muckers to clear a safe lane. There's a reason we teach not to let your heart rule your head but to be honest some blokes will do it anyway.
 
The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then, the medal has been awarded 1,356 times to 1,353 individual recipients. Only 13 medals, nine to members of the British Army, and four to the Australian Army, have been awarded since the Second World War. The traditional explanation of the source of the gunmetal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the siege of Sevastopol.

A recommendation for the VC is normally issued by an officer at regimental level, or equivalent, and has to be supported by three witnesses, although this has been waived on occasion. The recommendation is then passed up the military hierarchy until it reaches the Secretary of State for Defence. The recommendation is then laid before the monarch who approves the award with his or her signature.

I think you are forgetting Cpl Willie Apiata NZSAS awarded his VC in 2008 for actions in Afghanistan.
 

Crazy_Legs

War Hero
I think you are forgetting Cpl Willie Apiata NZSAS awarded his VC in 2008 for actions in Afghanistan.
He was awarded the VC for New Zealand, and to date is the only holder of that medal.

This is a different (though clearly v similar) award to THE VC. Four VCs were awarded to Australians in the Vietnam War but they too now have the VC for Australia, awarded twice to Aussie SAS soldiers in Afghanistan.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
So I know, Australia and New Zealand now have VC fo rtheir own country, have other Commwealth countrys gone down same route? Is there a VC for Canada? Or any others?
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
Interesting thread on the World War 2 Talk forum:

Victoria Crosses That Never Were.... - World War 2 Talk

Complete with original recommendations and witness statements in many cases.
There's a good interview with Flt Lt Reid V.C.
He was awarded his V.C. for actions after being attacked over Holland and continuing on to Germany to carry out his raidf despite being wounded
On the way home over the channel his engineer was helping him fly when the engines cut out due to the tanks not being switched
They got the engines started and got home to crash land
Flt Lt Reid points out that the actions that he was awarded the V.C. for had already happened
He questioned how many aircrew had done something similer over Germany only to crash into the sea on the way home without anyone knowing what had happened
 
So I know, Australia and New Zealand now have VC fo rtheir own country, have other Commwealth countrys gone down same route? Is there a VC for Canada? Or any others?
There is a a VC for Canada, distinguishable from the British one by the inscription "Pro Valore" instead of "For Valour". It has not yet been awarded.
 

Qosmio

Old-Salt
There seems to have been a case of creeping excellence among VCs in terms of the 'element of difficulty' demanded by a critical public of the medals recipients. In the history of the medal there have been cases of it being awarded by election. Where a couple of blokes were randomly picked from a unit that all displayed exceptional gallantry. There have also been cases of it being awarded to the platoon commander, submarine or ship's captain to honour all the other blokes who served under him.
I have read several older VC citations which say little more than 'This officer commanded with a great deal of dash'. A lot more detail is expected of citaions today. There have been many cases in the past of VC's being awarded in cases where a medal recognising leadership or command would today be presented instead.
Of course, there have also been the notable cases of award to one individual who does the classic charge on the machinegun nest singlehandedly, but if you read a book which details the history of all VC recipients, these are actually few and far between.
Whilst the theme of recognising extraordinary valour links each award, they are all entirely different and it shouldn't be argued that one is more deserving than the other. Propaganda to the public and inspiration to the troops has certainly been a consideration in the awarding of the medal over the years and it is not without controversy.
Even today, with the recent awards to the Aussie SAS lads, there are murmerings of discontent about other soldiers that were overlooked by heaping such a high honour on just one man. In some cases it would probably be fairer to give several soldiers lesser awards, than to give out the highest award to one whilst overlooking the rest. But this would fail to achieve the additional positive propaganga, morale boost and media spin that the military and government generate when a VC is awarded.
 

cdn_spr

War Hero
Brave lad but using the vallon to reach his mucker would only have taken a minute more and he'd still be with us today. Unfortunately the injured party can also bleed out whilst waiting for his muckers to clear a safe lane. There's a reason we teach not to let your heart rule your head but to be honest some blokes will do it anyway.

FSJ, agreed, and my thoughts exactly when I first read the story. As an engineer section commander this was my nightmare scenario on the last tour, luckily the lads we were with were more than happy to freeze and let us clear for secondaries after a strike.


BUT...back on topic. As stated above Canada does have it's own VC. We made the break from the British Honours and Awards system in 1967. VC became VC (canadian), CGC became the Star of Military Valour, MC became the Star of Courage.

Quite chippy names if you ask me....
 

Qosmio

Old-Salt
Since the end of WW2 16 Vcs have been awarded as follows:


We should also remember that a RM was awarded a Medal of Honor for Afg in 2001.
I thought the MOH and the Purple heart were the two US awards that cannot be bestowed on a foreigner? (Other than the symbolic award to the British unkown soldier which has been reciprocated with a VC.)
 
M

Mark The Convict

Guest
I've read somewhere that Aus. VC recipients can now opt to have their ID's suppressed.

Whilst this is undoubtedly aimed at SF types, I wonder how practical it would be, since the recipient would presumably wear the gong with his other decorations on a daily basis, thus rendering ID suppression largely academic.

I also wonder what sort of pressure to 'go public' would be brought to bear on him by The System, which would want to exploit* the gong's PR value?

*charming term.
 

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