List of artillery Victoria Cross recipients

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The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration that may be bestowed upon members of the British or Commonwealth armed forces for acts of valour or gallantry performed in the face of the enemy. Within the British honours system and those of many Commonwealth nations it is the highest award a soldier can receive for actions in combat. It was established in 1856 and since then has been awarded 1,356 times; three service personnel have received the award twice.[1]

The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. The traditional explanation of the source of the gunmetal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the siege of Sevastopol. Recent research has thrown doubt on this story, suggesting a variety of origins.[2] The original Royal Warrant did not contain a specific clause regarding posthumous awards, although official policy was to not award the VC posthumously. Between 1897 and 1901, several notices were issued in the London Gazette regarding soldiers who would have been awarded the VC had they survived. In a partial reversal of policy in 1902, six of the soldiers mentioned were granted the VC, but not "officially" awarded the medal. In 1907, the posthumous policy was completely reversed and medals were sent to the next of kin of the six officers and men.[3] The Victoria Cross warrant was not officially amended to explicitly allow posthumous awards until 1920 but one quarter of all awards for the First World War were posthumous.[4][5]

Due to its rarity, the VC is highly prized and the medal has fetched over £400,000 at auction.[6] A number of public and private collections are devoted to the Victoria Cross. The private collection of Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains over one-tenth of all VCs awarded. Following a 2008 donation to the Imperial War Museum, the Ashcroft collection went on public display alongside the museum's Victoria and George Cross collection in November 2010.[7] Since 1990, three Commonwealth countries that retain the Queen as head of state have instituted their own versions of the VC. As a result, the original Victoria Cross is sometimes referred to as the "Commonwealth Victoria Cross" or the "Imperial Victoria Cross", to distinguish it from the newer awards.[8][9]

The British Royal Regiment of Artillery was formed at Woolwich in 1716.[10] Being present at almost every battle the British Army has been involved in, several of its batteries are now named after Victoria Cross actions. J (Sidi Rezegh) Battery Royal Horse Artillery is one of these units,[11] and is named after the Battle of Sidi Rezegh during which Second Lieutenant George Gunn performed the deeds for which he was later awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Since its introduction there have been sixty-five awards of the Victoria Cross to artillerymen, awarded for bravery in eight different wars. The first award was during the Crimean War and the last for the Second World War. The recipients include an Indian serving in the Indian Artillery, a member of the Royal Australian Artillery, and sixteen members of the then Bengal or Bombay Armies. The remainder have been from the three branches of the British Royal Artillery: the Royal Horse Artillery, the Royal Field Artillery, and the Royal Garrison Artillery. Two artillerymen received the award for actions performed while they were serving with other formations, one in the First World War with the Royal Flying Corps, and one in the Second World War with the British Commandos.

Artillery recipients[edit]

Name Branch Date Conflict Location
Ernest Alexander Royal Field Artillery 24 August 1914 First World War Elouges[12]
Thomas Arthur Royal Field Artillery 7 June 1855 Crimean War Sevastopol[13]
Frederick Bradley Royal Field Artillery 26 September 1901 Second Anglo-Boer War Itala[12]
Edward Bradbury Royal Horse Artillery 1 September 1914 First World War Néry[14]
Joseph Brennan Royal Field Artillery 3 April 1858 Indian Mutiny Jhansi[15]
Daniel Cambridge Royal Field Artillery 8 September 1855 Crimean War Sevastopol[16]
John Campbell Royal Horse Artillery 21–23 November 1941 Second World War Sidi Rezegh[17]
James Collis Royal Horse Artillery 28 July 1880 Second Anglo-Afghan War Maiwand[18]
William Connolly Bengal Horse Artillery 7 July 1857 Indian Mutiny Jhelum[19]
Roden Cutler Royal Australian Artillery 19 June 1941 Second World War Merdjayoun[20]
Gronow Davis Royal Field Artillery 8 September 1855 Crimean War Sevastopol[16]
Bernard Diamond Bengal Horse Artillery 28 September 1857 Indian Mutiny Bolandshahr[21]
Collingwood Dickson Royal Field Artillery 17 October 1854 Crimean War Sevastopol[22]
Matthew Dixon Royal Field Artillery 17 April 1855 Crimean War Sevastopol[16]
George Dorrell Royal Horse Artillery 1 September 1914 First World War Néry[23]
Eric Dougall Royal Field Artillery 10 April 1918 First World War Messines[24]
Job Drain Royal Field Artillery 26 August 1914 First World War Le Cateau[25]
Richard Fitzgerald Bengal Horse Artillery 28 September 1857 Indian Mutiny Bolandshahr[21]
Horace Glasock Royal Horse Artillery 31 March 1900 Second Anglo-Boer War Sanna's Post[26]
Robert Gorle Royal Field Artillery 1 October 1918 First World War Ledeghem[27]
William Gosling Royal Field Artillery 5 April 1917 First World War Arras[28]
Cyril Gourley Royal Field Artillery 30 November 1917 First World War Cambrai[29]
George Gunn Royal Horse Artillery 21 November 1941 Second World War Sidi Rezegh[30]
Hastings Harrington Bengal Artillery 14–22 November 1857 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[31]
Andrew Henry Royal Field Artillery 5 November 1854 Crimean War Inkerman[32]
Ernest Horlock Royal Field Artillery 15 September 1914 First World War Vendresse[14]
James Hills-Johnes Bengal Horse Artillery 9 July 1857 Indian Mutiny Delhi[33]
Alfred Ind Royal Horse Artillery 20 December 1901 Second Anglo-Boer War Tafelkop[34]
Edward Jennings Bengal Artillery 14–22 November 1857 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[31]
Richard Keatinge Bombay Artillery 17 March 1858 Indian Mutiny Chanderi fort[35]
Thomas Laughnan Bengal Artillery 14–22 November 1857 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[31]
Isaac Lodge Royal Horse Artillery 31 March 1900 Second Anglo-Boer War Sanna's Post[26]
Frederick Luke Royal Field Artillery 26 August 1914 First World War Le Cateau[25]
William Manley Royal Field Artillery 29 April 1864 New Zealand Wars Tauranga[36]
Francis Maude Royal Field Artillery 25 September 1857 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[37]
Thomas Maufe Royal Garrison Artillery 4 June 1917 First World War Feuchy[38]
Hugh McInnes Bengal Artillery 14–22 November 1857 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[31]
Frederick Miller Royal Field Artillery 5 November 1854 Crimean War Inkerman[39]
Patrick Mullane Royal Horse Artillery 27 July 1880 Second Anglo-Afghan War Maiwand[18]
David Nelson Royal Horse Artillery 1 September 1914 First World War Néry[23]
George Nurse Royal Field Artillery 15 December 1899 Second Anglo-Boer War Colenso[40]
William Olpherts Bengal Artillery 25 September 1857 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[37]
James Park Bengal Artillery 14–22 November 1857 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[31]
Charles Parker Royal Horse Artillery 31 March 1900 Second Anglo-Boer War Sanna's Post[26]
Edmund Phipps-Hornby Royal Horse Artillery 31 March 1900 Second Anglo-Boer War Sanna's Post[26]
Arthur Pickard Royal Field Artillery 20 November 1863 New Zealand Wars Rangiriri[36]
Patrick Porteous Royal Artillery 2 November 1942 Second World War Dieppe[41][nb 1]
John Raynes Royal Field Artillery 11 October 1915 First World War Béthune[42]
Hamilton Reed Royal Field Artillery 15 December 1899 Second Anglo-Boer War Colenso[40]
Lionel Rees Royal Garrison Artillery 1 July 1916 First World War Double Crassieurs[nb 2]
George Renny Bengal Horse Artillery 16 September 1857 Indian Mutiny Delhi[43]
Douglas Reynolds Royal Field Artillery 26 August 1914 First World War Le Cateau[44]
Frederick Roberts Bengal Horse Artillery 2 January 1858 Indian Mutiny Khudaganj[31]
Patrick Roddy Bengal Artillery 27 September 1858 Indian Mutiny Kuthirga[43]
Harry Schofield Royal Field Artillery 15 December 1899 Second Anglo-Boer War Colenso[45]
Umrao Singh Indian Artillery 15–16 December 1944 Second World War Kaladan River[46]
Alfred Smith Royal Field Artillery 17 January 1885 Mahdist War Abu Klea[47]
Charles Stone Royal Field Artillery 21 March 1918 First World War Caponne Farm
George Symons Royal Field Artillery 6 June 1855 Crimean War Inkerman[48]
Christopher Teesdale Royal Field Artillery 29 September 1855 Crimean War Kars[49]
William Temple Royal Field Artillery 20 November 1863 New Zealand Wars Waikato[36]
Jacob Thomas Bengal Artillery 27 September 1857 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[50]
Henry Tombs Bengal Horse Artillery 9 July 1857 Indian Mutiny Delhi[33]
Garth Walford Royal Field Artillery 26 April 1915 First World War Gallipoli[51]
Samuel Wallace Royal Field Artillery 20 November 1917 First World War Gonnelieu[29]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ Attached to No.4 Commando.
  2. ^ Attached to No. 32 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps.
Citations
  1. ^ "Victoria Cross: The Premier Award for Gallantry". Ministry of Defence (UK). Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Davies, Catronia (2005-12-28). "Author explodes myth of the gunmetal VC". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27986. p. 325. 15 January 1907. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  4. ^ Crook, MJ, Chapter 8 pp.68–90
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 31946. p. 6702. 18 June 1920. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  6. ^ "The Victoria Cross ... awarded to Captain Alfred Shout have been sold at auction". Iain Stewart, Victoria Cross.org. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Press Release: The Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Extraordinary Heroes". Imperial War Museum. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Pro Valore: Canada's Victoria Cross". National Defence; Government of Canada. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Victoria Cross for Australia" (PDF). Australian Government. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Royal Artillery". Ministry of Defence (UK). Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Battery Histories". Ministry of Defence (UK). Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  12. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29074. p. 1699. 16 February 1916. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21971. p. 656. 24 February 1887. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  14. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28985. p. 9958. 24 November 1914. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22324. p. 4032. 19 June 1860. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  16. ^ a b c The London Gazette: no. 22014. p. 2165. 23 June 1857. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  17. ^ "John Campbell". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  18. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 24973. p. 2553. 17 May 1881. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22179. p. 4015. 3 September 1858. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35360. p. 6825. 25 November 1941. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  21. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 22131. p. 2051. 27 April 1858. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24508. p. 5457. 2 October 1877. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  23. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28976. p. 9374. 13 November 1914. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  24. ^ "Eric Dougall". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  25. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28985. pp. 9957–9958. 24 November 1914. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  26. ^ a b c d The London Gazette: no. 27205. pp. 3964–3964. 26 June 1900. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31067. p. 14775. 13 December 1918. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30130. p. 5866. 12 June 1917. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  29. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30523. p. 2004. 12 February 1918. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  30. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35530. p. 1741. 17 April 1942. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  31. ^ a b c d e f The London Gazette: no. 22212. p. 5516. 24 December 1958. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  32. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21971. p. 655. 24 February 1887. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  33. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 22131. p. 2050. 27 April 1858. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  34. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27465. p. 5328. 15 August 1902. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  35. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22601. p. 956. 25 February 1862. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  36. ^ a b c The London Gazette: no. 22896. p. 4552. 23 September 1864. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  37. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 22154. p. 2957. 18 June 1858. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  38. ^ "Thomas Maufe". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  39. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22260. p. 1867. 6 May 1859. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  40. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 27160. p. 689. 2 February 1900. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  41. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35729. p. 4323. 2 October 1942. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  42. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29371. p. 11449. 16 November 1915. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  43. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 22248. p. 1483. 12 April 1859. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  44. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28976. p. 9373. 13 November 1914. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  45. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27350. p. 5737. 30 August 1901. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  46. ^ Condell, Diana (1 December 2005). "Obituary Umrao Singh". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  47. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25469. p. 2156. 12 May 1885. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  48. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22065. p. 3920. 20 November 1857. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  49. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22043. p. 3194. 25 September 1857. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  50. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22212. p. 5519. 24 December 1958. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  51. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29202. p. 6115. 22 June 1915. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  • Crook, M.J. (1975). The Evolution of the Victoria Cross. Midas Books. ISBN 0-85936-041-5.