The Victoria Cross emblem on a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone (Photo: Centenary News)

UK online tribute to overseas Victoria Cross winners

Posted on on 22 June 2016
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A digital archive honouring 175 winners of the Victoria Cross from 11 countries has been launched as part of the British Government's Centenary programme.

The stories of each of these men, from the Commonwealth and several other nations, who received Britain's highest award for valour during the First World War can now be found online.

In June 2014, bronze memorial plaques were presented to their home countries as a mark of gratitude from the UK. 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office explains: "In this second stage of the campaign we are telling the individual stories of these courageous men who came from many different backgrounds, and who fought side by side with Britain in a common cause. By doing so we hope that today’s generations will come to learn more about their bravery, compassion, and loyalty."

During the Great War, overseas Victoria Cross recipients were drawn from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, undivided India (now India & Pakistan), the United States, Nepal, Denmark, Belgium and Ukraine.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister Hugo Swire said: "Behind every name engraved on the memorial plaques there is a truly remarkable story. It is fitting that we pay tribute to the Victoria Cross recipients from overseas by bringing their stories together in this digital archive. 

"By doing so we are sending a message that these men, and the important role played by their home countries in the First World War, will never be forgotten by the people of the United Kingdom.

The VC Digital Archive can be found hereAs well as the individual biographies, there's an explanatory blog & film made in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum.

Source: UK Government (Foreign & Commonwealth Office)