June 27, 2006

Britons Strike Home

Yesterday marked the 150th anniversary of the Victoria Cross, the highest award given by the Crown for gallantry in action. A ceremony at Westminster Abbey marking the event was attended by eight of the twelve surviving VC medalists.

The very first Victoria Cross was awarded to Lt. Charles David Lucas who, on June 21, 1854, while serving aboard H.M.S. Hecla, picked up a live Russian shell that landed on the ship's deck and threw it overboard.

A total of 1355 VC's have been awarded altogether, the bulk of them going to Brits, Scots and Irishmen, although there is a generous distribution among other members of the Empire, as well as a number of extra-Commonwealth recipients including five Americans.

According to Wikipedia, the largest number of VCs awarded in a single day was 24 on November 16, 1857, at the relief of Lucknow (about which Flashy would know a thing or two, what?). The largest number awarded in a single action was 11 at Rorke's Drift on January 22, 1879. The largest number of Victoria Crosses awarded in a single conflict was 634 during the First World War. Three men have won the VC twice.

Hats off to all of these fine people.

Yips! to Tim Worstall, who has some pointed comments about the way some current VC holders have been treated by HM Government.

Posted by Robert at June 27, 2006 03:59 PM | TrackBack

It is shocking that the Gurkas are not paid as much as otehr soldiers and cannot work in the U.K. despite having been awarded the Victory Cross.

Posted by: LMC at June 27, 2006 04:29 PM

Flashy himself is a VC winner...

Posted by: Basil Seal at June 28, 2006 09:24 AM

According to Flashman and the Tiger, Flashy was also at Rorke's Drift. The man had an unerring instinct for being in the right place at the wrong time.

Posted by: utron at June 28, 2006 01:37 PM