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Victoria Cross

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A cross pattée in bronze. The obverse of the medal (shown here) bears a lion statant gardant on the royal crown, with the words 'FOR VALOUR' on a semi-circular scroll. The reverse bears a circular panel inside which is engraved the date of the act for which the decoration was awarded. The reverse of the suspender is engraved with the rank, name and ship, regiment or squadron of the recipient.


A bronze bar ornamented with laurels may be issued to VC holders performing a further act of such bravery which would have merited award of the VC. When the ribbon alone is worn (see below) a further replica in miniature is added.


Plain crimson. Prior to 1918, a dark blue ribbon had been issued for the Royal Navy. When the ribbon alone is worn a replica of the cross in miniature is affixed to the centre of the ribbon.

Awarded For

The premier (Level 1) award for gallantry, the VC may be awarded to all ranks of the services and civilians for gallantry in the presence of the enemy. It may be awarded posthumously.


Instituted by Queen Victoria to cover all actions since the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854, the Victoria Cross has been awarded 1357 times and 3 bars have been awarded.

The most recent British recipient of the VC is Corporal Bryan Budd, of the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, who was posthumously awarded the VC for acts of 'inspirational leadership and the greatest valour' in Southern Afghanistan in 2006.

In 2004 Private Johnson Beharry from 1st Battalion the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment was awarded the honour for two separate acts of outstanding gallantry of the highest order whilst based in Al Amarah, Iraq.

The VC is made from the bronze of Russian guns captured at Sebastopol, though modern research suggests that Chinese guns may have been used at various times.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand also incorporate the VC in to their honours system, though it is technically seperate from the old Imperial award. Mark Donaldson of the Australian SASR is to date the only recipient of the non-UK Victoria Cross.

External links

The Victoria Cross made by Hancocks

Victoria Cross Society

Iain Stewart's VC Website

Victoria Cross page on wikipedia.

Gallantry Awards
VC | GC | CGC | GM | QGM | MiD

Honours, Awards and Decorations
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