The Victoria Cross is Britain's highest military decoration, awarded for valour and devotion to duty in the face of the enemy to members of the armed forces, regardless of rank. Up to two bars may be awarded in recognition of further acts of gallantry.
First established By Queen Victoria, 29 January 1856, to recognise valour in the Crimean War (gazetted 5 February 1856). ‘The Queen has been pleased, by an instrument under Her Royal Sign Manual, of which the following is a copy, to institute and create a new Naval and Military Decoration, to be styled and designated “The Victoria Cross". Prior to this, there was ‘no means of adequately rewarding the individual gallant services either of officers of the lower grades in Our Naval and Military Service’
Unlike any other award for gallantry, the Victoria Cross is not made in a die. It is not struck, as other coins or medals but, largely due to the type of metal it is made from, it is cast.
Each of the crosses are cast from the bronze casabel from two cannons captured from the Russians at the Siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War.
The VC was awarded to just 633 individuals between 1914 and 1918.
Two of these awards were made to men from Armadale & District -
William Angus & James Crichton