Britain honours overseas recipients of the Victoria Cross

Posted on on 27 June 2014
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Britain has unveiled plaques commemorating 175 men from overseas who were awarded the UK's highest military honour - the Victoria Cross - during the First World War.

The Duke of Kent and the Senior Minister of State in the Foreign Office, Baroness Warsi (who is also Minister for Faith & Communities), presented the plaques to the public yesterday (26th June 2014) at Lancaster House in London.

The eleven bronze memorial plaques are inscribed with the names of Victoria Cross holders and will be sent to the recipients' countries and displayed  in a "prominent location".

The plaques are part of the United Kingdom's official First World War Centenary programme and are intended to be a symbol of gratitude from the people of Britain towards those who fought during the First World War.

The eleven countries who will be presented with plaques are: Canada (70 VCs);  Australia (66); New Zealand (16); South Africa (14); India (6); USA (5); Pakistan (3); Nepal (2); Denmark (2); Belgium (1) and Ukraine (1). (NB: a handful had allegiances to more than one country, hence the discrepancy of numbers on the plaques).

Baroness Warsi said that it is "important to remember this was a truly global war, one which pulled in people from every corner of the earth".

"Sacrifices were made not only by people in the United Kingdom but by many millions across the world: whether it was the large proportion of Australian men who volunteered to fight in a war far from home, the 1.2 million Indian troops who took part in the war, or the essential support which came from the islands of the West Indies".

"It is truly inspiring that so many countries came together 100 years ago to uphold our way of life. This was a war which saw extraordinary courage and sacrifice from an entire generation.

"This year, we are marking our gratitude to 175 men from 11 countries who demonstrated the utmost bravery “in the face of the enemy” during the First World War.

"I am determined that we ensure that people of all backgrounds and of all generations learn about the courage and heroism of their forefathers a hundred years ago".

Source: UK Government press release

Date of press release publication: 26/06/2014

Images courtesy of the UK Government

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News