Victoria Cross: Rare honour awarded for gallantry

The Victoria Cross is the nation's highest award for gallantry, along with the George Cross.

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
  • 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
  • L/Cpl Ashworth's is just the fifth to have been awarded since the Falklands conflict, and all but one have been posthumous
  • 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

Advertisement

Rare VC honour for UK soldier

British soldier Lance Corporal James Ashworth, who died as he protected the lives of his comrades in Afghanistan, is to be awarded the Victoria Cross, according to a report.