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".
- The medal has been awarded 1,356 times, the most recent of which was a posthumous award to Corporal Bryan Budd, of the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, for acts of "inspirational leadership and the greatest valour" in southern Afghanistan in 2006.
- The George Cross, which stands equal to the Victoria Cross as an award, recognises acts of gallantry by members of the Armed Forces or civilians in situations for which the Victoria Cross is not appropriate
- L/Cpl Ashworth's is just the fifth to have been awarded since the Falklands conflict, and all but one have been posthumous.
- Only 13 Victoria Cross medals have been awarded since the Second World War, nine to members of the British Army and four to the Australian Army.