I also take considerable pride in bringing you stories of these heroes and the events of the day, that the media either forget, or did little justice with. And I include with the media those who make the movies that make heroes out of actors, and big bucks the companies in the process. But the true stories and the players in those stories often end up on the cutting block in the process.
And thus my flag waving.
Many of these heroes have been covered in this space. So too have others, deserving high accolades as well, but that aside, men who's stories in events like the Great Escape and the Devils Brigade and the Iran Hostage taking and the Monuments Men that, while told, seem to lack quite a lot with regards to the Canadian connection. Stories about Gettysburg and Little Round Top, the Monitor and the Merrimack, the Alabama and the Kearsarge, the 54th Massachusetts and the 27th Maine, Guadacanal and the Battle of the Bulge and many dozens more all have Canadian connections rarely mention... except in this space.
And today comes another story in itself.
Today I went to Google News to see what the press was saying about the fact that yesterday was the 157th anniversary of the first EVER presentation at London England of the Victoria Cross. A 10 a.m. ceremony, most brief in itself, saw HRH Queen Victoria bend down from her horse and pin on the chest of 62 brave men the Victoria Cross. These were the first men ever to be so bestowed with the most sought after bravery award probably in the world.
Well folks, I checked the hits for the first five pages and in the 50 hits I found quite a lot of references to the VC, and of course the start, soon, of WW l. Two of the hits had one liners saying that the first VC awards took place back in 1857.
Lest we Forget! Two out of 50. And a few lines at best.
One site had this curious headline...
That being said, over the past 18 months and more I have been bringing you these stories, I have written dozens on the Victoria Cross and I would invite you to use the search function on this site to search for these stories and re-read then at a time that it is yet again important to reflect on their incredible heroism.
With those blogs you can read about William Smith who was actually presented his VC whist in Canada, and Timothy O'Hea who's actions took place within Canada and for which he was later awarded the VC.
Henry James Raby was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and earned His VC for actions during the War in the Crimea. The date of his action was 18 June 1855, and was not the first by date of action, to earn the VC. But his rank of Commander in 1857 and the highest rank held by one of the recipients on parade, coupled with the fact that he was in the senior service... the navy, all resulted in him being recorded in history as the first ever to be presented with the medal., (His image is at left, above)
Charles Lucas was a sailor and also in the RN and was rewarded for his bravery when others panicked onboard a ship during the Crimean War War. When a lit bomb landed on the deck of his vessel he had the tenacity to charge for it as others headed in the other direction. He got to it, struggled to pick it up pick it up and then tossed it overboard where it blew up before hitting the water. Had it remained on deck, the vessel may well have been sunk with many lives lost. Instead just a few received minor injuries. His action on 21 June 1854, was the first ever to result in the VC being awarded. (He is pictured above and center.)
Cecil Buckey, again a RN officer, and again from the Crimean War actions, was the first of these three to be listed in the London Gazette of 24 Feb., 1857 as being recipients of the VC. (His image is at right above.)
Much more can be read about these medal and their medals by using the search facility at the site.
Back on Wednesday.