A follower of the blog with a sharp eye, keen sense of history noted, and source of some of the background on some stories here has noted a flaw re the statue. I am reminded that it in fact is quite a few blocks away. What is in the place described, is related to Logan however, but is the memorial to the Grand Army of the Republic.
In crossing the Potomac, the end of the lower arrow takes you to Arlington National Cemetery where there are more Medal of Honor men buried than there are days in the year.
About a dozen being Canadians. Perhaps another dozen or more non MOH Canadians are also at rest there. These include nurse Lenah Higbee who's incredible story I hope you have read recently in this space.
There is an old saying that "the person who does not make mistakes, makes nothing." I try to make corrections as needed in these blogs, welcome feedback when errors are noted, and even kind words once in a while. I thank the reader for pointing out the above mix-up in locations of the memorial and statue.
Leaving the US now, we travel about a decade further back from the end days of the Civil War. It was in February of 1856 that the London Gazette told us about the British Monarch, and HRH Queen Victoria's creation of a medal bearing her name. A medal that would soon become the preeminant medal for valour in the British Commonwealth and over the years to become known world over, and called the Victoria Cross.
About 1,360 of these highly prized and sought after medals have been awarded to date. Seventy eight of these would be for heroism during the Boer War. Only about 15 since WW11.
The LG 15 paragraph order creating the VC outlined the criteria laid down by the crown, and noted that the medal would be awarded for merit and valour, highly prized and much sought after.
The actions must have been voluntary, and not simply the following orders, must have been be in the face of the enemy, and supported by witnessed accounts of the actions involved. Nominations must be supported by higher authorities. There must be a ..."signal act of valour, or devotion to their country." (My highlighting)
The LG also noted that in the last paragraph that while authority exists to cancel a recipient's award, such reversals could be made by the sole authority and judgment of the crown and no one else.
This sets up the position that whilst the crown created the award, it is the sole decider of facts, when it chooses to adjudicate on expulsions, reversals, and (presumably) anything else that touches on VC matters whatsoever.
Evidence of this is in the reversal of the expulsion rule by the crown of the day back in 1920, the removal of the blue ribbons for the navy VC's in 1918, and the reversal of the rule precluding posthumous VC awards very early in the medal's history.
Please remember this right of crown to make changes, as you read on.
During the Boer War her grandson was serving as a major in one of the units and would often write home to grama. It has been said that his constant notes of the bitterly cold nights in South Africa caused the Queen to crochet a scarf. Thoughts of the her troops would soon see 4 being made. The Royal Cypher VRI as you can see above, was added to each, near the end knots. (Pictured is the actual scarf awarded to Colour Sgt. William Colclough, who's family in later years attached a unit cap badge.)
But how to chose them! The answer is found in the portion of a 1902 London Gazette entry below.
Roberts notes that the officers in charge made the selec tions. In fact, it was left to the men to vote who was the bravest of the bravest and send that name, or if a tie with a few, to send these few names along to the Individual commanders. They would then make a selection and later send these names to Lord Roberts, through the usual channels.
Note Roberts' reference to the "gifts of honour", .. "to those most distinguished", and for which "gallant conduct in the field was to be considered the primary qualification".
Please note further that the very mention of the four names above, is in itself, what is called a Mention in Dispatch, and that MID is, in itself, a medal of bravery.
Alfred Du Frayer, shown in above picture and wearing his scarf, was from the New South Wales Mounted Infantry. Richard Thompson, also above, was in the Royal Regiment of Canada. (Both incidentally were recommended for the Victoria Cross.)
Thompson's scarf is shown and is contained in the display at our wonderful War Museum at Ottawa. A rifle from the war is also in the display, but is believed not to have been the one issued to him.
Followers of my blogs and others who have known me over the years well understand that I do not pay very much attention to the Status Quo. In fact one of my favourite lines is that Status is being too often applied when the Quo has long since left the room. You get my drift!
The very success of this blog, having identified 118 Medal of Honor recipients from Canada, or with connections to Canada when the start number about 2 decades ago was 54, is proof that challenging what the records say, is often most rewarding. Same goes for the so called official numbers of Canadian Victoria Cross recipients being at between 94 and 96. My numbers are now at 108.
So, back to the coins, I ask you to have a long look at the box on the left and that on the right.
Are they the same?
Some will say yes but clearly they may equal each other. but they are NOT the same. One is a roll of 40 coins, the other five rolls totaling 200 coins.
So let's apply this concept to the world of Victoria Crosses and Queen's Scarfs!
A statement that clearly equates the scarf to the VC.
Things are starting to stir...
The recommendation was for the King to award a Gold Star that could be worn on less formal occasions and thus still represent the Scarf itself.
Since this blog is getting too long, I will bring you more on this story in the days to come.
In the mean time, Happy Birthday to one of the recipients of the scarf, Trooper Leonard Chadwick, born in Delaware USA, and of whom you have hopefully read much in the past in this space. He was born 2 days ago, on 24 November, but back in 1878. (Thanks to another blog supporter who reminded me of this.)
Back soon ...