Victoria Cross

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The Victoria Cross is the highest award for bravery. Queen Victoria introduced the award on the 29th January 1856, the decoration is inscribed "For Valor".

Prior to the issue of a Royal warrant on 21st October 1911, the medal was awarded only to British officers and servicemen. However after that date native Indian officers and soldiers were eligible to receive this honour. (Previously the highest award available to them had been the Indian Order of Merit). In fact, the first VC to an Indian born recipient was not conferred until 1914 when this was awarded to Sepoy Khudad Khan for an act of bravery in Belgium.

Holders of the award are listed in The National Archives, and citations are announced in the London Gazette.

The youngest recipient was Arthur Fitzgibbon of the Indian Medical establishment . He was 15 years and 3 months at the time of his award in 1861. For further details see Apothecaries

The oldest recipient was William Raynor of the Bengal Veteran Establishment - who was awarded the medal for gallantry during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. He was 61 years old.

Records

The following are held in the National Archives:

  • Victoria Cross Register, Volume 1, 20 February 1856 - 6 August 1864 (WO 98/3)
  • Victoria Cross Register, Volume 2, 16 August 1864 - 31 January 1900 (WO 98/4)
  • Victoria Cross Register, Volume 3, 2 February 1900 - 1 September 1944 (WO 98/8)

FIBIS resources

External links

Historical books online