Peter Weston

For Valour

Symbol of Courage: A History of the Victoria Cross

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Sidgwick & Jackson 686pp £25 order from our bookshop

Supreme Courage: Heroic Stories from 150 Years of the Victoria Cross

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Little, Brown 387pp £20 order from our bookshop

The Victoria Cross was inaugurated 150 years ago, at the suggestion of the Duke of Newcastle, then Secretary of State for War. Previously only the bravery of commissioned officers was recognised, usually by promotion or with the award of membership of the Order of the Bath. All ranks were eligible for the new medal. On 26 June 1857, before a vast crowd and accompanied by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria attended a review in Hyde Park where she pinned the new medals to the tunics of sixty-two officers and men.

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