Canadian Recipients of the Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross (VC), instituted in 1856 by Queen Victoria, is the Commonwealth's premier military decoration for gallantry. It is awarded in recognition of the most exceptional bravery displayed in the presence of the enemy, although in rare instances the decoration has been given to mark other courageous acts. In total, there have been 99 Canadian recipients of the Victoria Cross. In 1993, Canada adopted its own national version of the Victoria Cross. The Canadian VC has not yet been awarded.

Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross, instituted 1856 by Queen Victoria, is the Commonwealth's premier military decoration for gallantry. It is awarded in recognition of the most exceptional bravery displayed in the presence of the enemy.
Michael James O'Rourke
Private Michael J. O`Rourke,7th Canadian Infantry Battalion, was awarded the Victoria Cross while serving as a stretcher-bearer during the fighting for Hill 70 in 1917. He had been already received the Military Medal for heroism during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Here he is wearing the ribbons for both medals.
William Hall
Born in Horton Bluff, NS, Hall won the Victoria Cross
Major David Currie
Major David Currie (second from right, pistol in hand) oversees the surrender of German soldiers in Saint Lambert-sur-Dives, 19 August 1944. Currie was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions that day.
Canadian Victoria Cross
The awarding of the original Victoria Cross was suspended in Canada in 1972, but on 2 February 1993 Queen Elizabeth II approved the creation of a Canadian VC. In design it resembles the original except for the Latin inscription.

The first recipients of the Victoria Cross (VC) saw action in the Crimean War. Among them was a Canadian lieutenant, Alexander Roberts Dunn, who was awarded the VC for heroism during the charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava. Another early recipient was William Hall, who in 1859 became the first Black and the first Canadian naval recipient of the Victoria Cross.

Over the years, there have been 99 Canadian recipients (living and posthumous) of the Victoria Cross. This includes Canadians who were attached to the forces of other Commonwealth countries and some non-Canadians serving in Canadian units. The decoration is in the form of a bronze cross patée bearing the royal crest and the words "For Valour." The ribbon is dark crimson.

The awarding of the medal was dropped in 1972 when the Canadian Decorations for Bravery were created (Cross of Valour, Star of Courage, Medal of Bravery). However, in April 1987, Brian Mulroney's Conservative government asked the deputy director of the Chancellory of Canadian Orders and Decorations to consider its reinstatement.

In 1993, Queen Elizabeth II approved the creation of a Canadian VC. The award has the same criteria as the original British decoration. The Canadian VC resembles the original VC except that the Latin inscription Pro Valore replaces the equivalent English inscription "For Valour." No Canadian VCs have yet been awarded.

See also Honours.

Canadian Victoria Cross Recipients

Name

Date of Action

Conflict

Alexander R. Dunn

1854

Battle of Balaclava, Crimean War

William N. Hall

1857

Indian Rebellion of 1857

Herbert T. Reade

1857

Indian Rebellion of 1857

Campbell M. Douglas

1867

Andaman Islands Expedition

Raymond H.L.J. de Montmorency

1898

Battle of Omdurman, Sudan Campaign

Hampden Z.C. Cockburn

1900

South African (Boer) War

Edward J.G. Holland

1900

South African (Boer) War

William H.S. Nickerson

1900

South African (Boer) War

Arthur H.L. Richardson

1900

South African (Boer) War

Richard E.W. Turner

1900

South African (Boer) War

Edward D. Bellew

1915

First World War

Frederick W. Campbell

1915

First World War

Frederick Fisher

1915

First World War

Benjamin Geary

1915

First World War

Frederick W. Hall

1915

First World War

Michael O’Leary

1915

First World War

Francis A.C. Scrimger

1915

First World War

Leo Clarke

1916

First World War

John C. Kerr

1916

First World War

James C. Richardson

1916

First World War

John A. Sinton

1916

First World War

Thomas O.L. Wilkinson

1916

First World War

Colin F. Barron

1917

First World War

Philip E. Bent

1917

First World War

William A. Bishop

1917

First World War

Harry Brown

1917

First World War

Robert G. Combe

1917

First World War

Robert Hanna

1917

First World War

Frederick M.W. Harvey

1917

First World War

Frederick Hobson

1917

First World War

Thomas W. Holmes

1917

First World War

Cecil J. Kinross

1917

First World War

Filip Konowal

1917

First World War

Okill M. Learmonth

1917

First World War

Thain W. MacDowell

1917

First World War

Hugh McKenzie

1917

First World War

William J. Milne

1917

First World War

George H. Mullin

1917

First World War

Christopher P.J. O’Kelly

1917

First World War

Michael J. O’Rourke

1917

First World War

John G. Pattison

1917

First World War

George R. Pearkes

1917

First World War

James P. Robertson

1917

First World War

Robert Shankland

1917

First World War

Ellis W. Sifton

1917

First World War

Harcus Strachan

1917

First World War

Wallace L. Algie

1918

First World War

William G. Barker

1918

First World War

Rowland Bourke

1918

First World War

Alexander P. Brereton

1918

First World War

Jean Brillant

1918

First World War

Hugh Cairns

1918

First World War

William H. Clark-Kennedy

1918

First World War

Frederick G. Coppins

1918

First World War

John B. Croak

1918

First World War

Robert E. Cruickshank

1918

First World War

Edmund De Wind

1918

First World War

Thomas F. Dinesen

1918

First World War

Gordon M. Flowerdew

1918

First World War

Herman J. Good

1918

First World War

Milton F. Gregg

1918

First World War

Samuel L. Honey

1918

First World War

Bellenden S. Hutcheson

1918

First World War

Joseph Kaeble

1918

First World War

George F. Kerr

1918

First World War

Arthur G. Knight

1918

First World War

Graham T. Lyall

1918

First World War

John MacGregor

1918

First World War

George B. McKean

1918

First World War

Alan A. McLeod

1918

First World War

William Merrifield

1918

First World War

William H. Metcalf

1918

First World War

Harry G.B. Miner

1918

First World War

Coulson N. Mitchell

1918

First World War

Claude J.P. Nunney

1918

First World War

Cyrus W. Peck

1918

First World War

Walter L. Rayfield

1918

First World War

Thomas Ricketts

1918

First World War

Charles S. Rutherford

1918

First World War

Robert Spall

1918

First World War

James E. Tait

1918

First World War

John F. Young

1918

First World War

Raphael L. Zengel

1918

First World War

John R. Osborn

1941

Second World War

John W. Foote

1942

Second World War

Charles C.I. Merritt

1942

Second World War

Frederick T. Peters

1942

Second World War

Paul Triquet

1943

Second World War

Ian W. Bazalgette

1944

Second World War

David V. Currie

1944

Second World War

Charles F. Hoey

1944

Second World War

David E. Hornell

1944

Second World War

John K. Mahony

1944

Second World War

Andrew C. Mynarski

1944

Second World War

Ernest A. Smith

1944

Second World War

Aubrey Cosens

1945

Second World War

Robert H. Gray

1945

Second World War

Frederick A. Tilston

1945

Second World War

Frederick G. Topham

1945

Second World War


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