This Day In History

  • 1944 Normandy Bridgehead. 1st South Lancashires suffers heavy casualties around Le Londel as initial British attempt to capture Caen continues
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For Valour – The Victoria Cross

 

 

The Victoria Cross.

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest award which the nation can bestow. It 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,” and takes precedence over all other orders, decorations and medals.

The Victoria Cross was instituted by Royal Warrant on 29 January 1856, made retrospective to the autumn of 1854 to cover the Crimean War. Since then, the medal has been awarded 1,356 times to 1,353 individual recipients.

A total of 19 were serving with antecedent regiments of The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment when they won their award. It is a measure of the ultimate, self-denying, sacrificial  bravery required that over a quarter of them (five, plus a sixth who later succumbed to his wounds), did not survive the action for which they were awarded their Cross.

The Museum owns and cares for five Victoria Cross medals, of which three  (marked below with * ) are on display. Two more, those of Captain Marcus Ervine-Andrews and Private William Young, are on loan to the Blackburn Museum and Museum of Lancashire respectively.

This specially-commissioned composition shows 17 of the Regiment’s 19 Victoria Cross winners symbollically posed on the parade square of the Regiment’s traditional home at Fulwood Barracks, Preston. The painting hangs in the Museum. From left to right: Captain Marcus Ervine-Andrews 1940, 2nd Lieutenant Basil Horsfall 1918, Private William Ratcliffe 1917, Private William Young 1915, Private John McDermond 1854Lieutenant Richard Jones 1916, Drummer Spencer John Bent 1914, Captain Euston Sartorious 1879, Colour Serjeant John Lucas 1861, 2nd Lieutenant Alfred Smith 1915, Private Henry Kenny 1915, Captain Mark Walker 1854, Lieutenant Thomas Wilkinson 1916, Private John Davies 1918, Private John Readitt 1917, 2nd Lieutenant Gabriel Coury 1916, Lieutenant Willward Sandys-Clarke 1943.

 

Name

Regiment

Place

Date

Pte John McDERMOND 47th Foot Inkerman,   Crimea 5 Nov   1854
Lt & Adjt Mark WALKER 30th Foot Inkerman, Crimea 5 Nov 1854
Colour Sjt John LUCAS * 40th Foot Huirangi Bush,   New Zealand 18 Mar 1861
Capt Euston Henry SARTORIOUS 59th Foot Shahjui 24 0ct 1879
Dmr Spencer John BENT 1 E Lan R Le Gheer,   Belgium 1/2 Nov 1914
Pte Henry KENNY 1 Loyals Nr Loos, France 25 Sep 1915
Pte William YOUNG 8 E Lan R Nr Fonque – Villers, France 22 Dec 1915
2Lt Alfred Victor SMITH 1/5 E Lan R Helles,   Gallipoli 23 Dec 1915
Rev William Robert Fountaine ADDISON R A Ch   D (att 6 Loyals) Sannaiyat,   Mesopotamia 9 Apr 1916
Lt   Richard Basil JONES 8 Loyals Nr St Eloi,   France 21 May 1916
Lt   Thomas Orde Lawder WILKINSON 7 Loyals La Boiselle,   Somme, France 5 Jul 1916
2Lt Gabriel COURY * 3 S Lan   R(att1/4thBn) Nr Arrow Head   Copse, France 8 Aug 1916
Pte John READITT 6 S Lan R Shumran Bend,   Mesopotamia 25 Feb1917
Capt Oswald Austin REID 4 Kings   (att 6 Loyals) Diyala Crossing, Mesopotamia 9 Mar 1917
Pte William RATCLIFFE MM 2 S Lan R Messines,   Belgium 14 Jun 1917
Cpl John Thomas DAVIES 11 S Lan R Nr Eppeville,   France 24 Mar 1918
2Lt Basil Arthur HORSFALL * 3 E Lan   R (att 11th Bn) Ervillers,   France 27 Mar   1918
Capt Harold Marcus ERVINE-ANDREWS 1 E Lan R Dunkirk, France 31 May –1 Jun   1940
Lt Willward A SANDYS- CLARKE 1 Loyals Gueriat-el-Atach   Tunisia 23 Apr1943