Victoria cross question

#1
I read that the medals are cast from metal from a captured Russian cannon from the battle of Sevastopol.
Are there bits of a canibalised cannon stored in a warehouse somewhere awaiting being used or did they just make as many batches as they could out of it and keep them ready for issue until they run out?

Just curious.
 
#2
Each one is struck as necessary, so I guess the remainder of the cannon is kept in storage somewhere. I did hear a few years back that they were worried there wasn't much material left.
 
#3
I read that the medals are cast from metal from a captured Russian cannon from the battle of Sevastopol.
Are there bits of a canibalised cannon stored in a warehouse somewhere awaiting being used or did they just make as many batches as they could out of it and keep them ready for issue until they run out?

Just curious.

I understand that the remaining metal is stored in a safe (presumably fireproof) at Donnington Depot, Telford, Shropshire. The metal is released in small amounts in order that the metalsmith that makes them all can keep two or three in stock ready for engraving prior to award.
 
#4
Bloody hell that was quick!

Cheers!
 
#5
Hancocks Jeweller make VC's in batches of 6..... incidently there is debate as to the origin of the metal traditionally it came from the cascabel of gun(s) captured at Sebastapol in the Crimean war, there are suggestions that the guns were actually chinese from the Opium wars...
 
#8
The VC's are made at Hancocks Jewelers. The Victoria Cross | hancocks

There are a number already made (about eight IIRC), but without the inscription on the back. Apparently the metal itself is complete gash to work with and the medal is completely worthless, until the inscription is engraved on the back.

I saw it all on a TV documentary, the name of which escapes me.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Apparently the metal itself is complete gash to work...
It's bronze (an alloy of copper and tin). It should be quite easy to cast in bulk. It may be a lot trickier to melt and cast a few hundred grams at a time for a small batch of blanks. Some high end jewellers melt and cast their own gold pieces - I wonder if Hancock's has that expertise or someone else does the work for them.

Wordsmith
 
#11
The VC's are made at Hancocks Jewelers. The Victoria Cross | hancocks

There are a number already made (about eight IIRC), but without the inscription on the back. Apparently the metal itself is complete gash to work with and the medal is completely worthless, until the inscription is engraved on the back.

I saw it all on a TV documentary, the name of which escapes me.
Clarkson visited them when he did that documentary about his Father in Law who won a VC at Arnhem
 
#12
I understand that the remaining metal is stored in a safe (presumably fireproof) at Donnington Depot, Telford, Shropshire. The metal is released in small amounts in order that the metalsmith that makes them all can keep two or three in stock ready for engraving prior to award.
A poster on here has the lump on their flick.
 
#14
If my memory serves me, back in the 80’s or 90’s Soldier mag did an article on some store somewhere (Could have been Donnington as UM said).
It had a photo of a WO standing next to lumps of the cut up guns (6”x6”chunks) There was only about 6 of them in the photo, but to go by the amount that get awarded this will probably last us another couple of hundred years.

Then we can start using all those statues of Saddam we nicked (Sorry captured/ liberated).
 
#15
Hancocks made one (at great expense) for Idi Amin but balked at the 'Victoria Cross' and changed his personal VC to 'Victorious Cross'.
 

diplomat

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#16
There is also a replica of the 'VC Metal' held at Donnington. It used to be the case that it could be 'borrowed' for dinner nights and events etc.
 
#18
As far as im aware its in the armoury at Donnington (at least thats what one of our armourers said). Unfortuantly the 'Victoria Cross metal' that was at DVD2010 was a replica.
 
#20
According to Sir P de la Billiere there was enough bronze left for another 85 medals. That was when he was writing his book on the VC that was published in 2004. I'm not sure how many have been awarded since but there is no danger that it will run out just yet.
 

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