Victoria Cross Stories

The Victoria Cross (VC) was Great Britain’s first medal for bravery. It was introduced in 1856 with its first recipients having fought in the Crimean War. During the First World War alone, 642 VC’s were awarded to 641 recipients. This is the highest number of medals awarded during any conflict.

The Victoria Cross is awarded for “… most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy”

Below are outlined the stories behind some of these medals.

Description: 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. Clasp. 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. Ribbon. 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.

Private Thomas Barratt

July 1917

Private John Leak

July 1916

Captain Gerald Robert O’Sullivan

Gallipoli Campaign – July 1915

Lance Corporal Samuel Frickleton

June 1917

Company Sergeant Major Nelson Carter

June 1916

2nd Lieutenant Herbert James

Gallipoli Campaign – June and July 1915

Cpl George Julian “Snowy” Howell

Attack on the Hindenburg Line – May 1917

Private Robert Edward Cruickshank

May 1918

Boy 1st Class John Cornwell

Battle of Jutland – May 1916

Private John Lynn

Second Battle of Ypres – May 1915

Private James Fynn

April 1916

Lance Corporal James Hewitson

April 1918

Captain Francis Scrimger

Second Battle of Ypres – April 1915

Lieutenant Donald Mackintosh

Battle of Arras – April 1917

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