For Valour: Canadian Airmen and the Victoria Cross

Imagine yourself flying in a bomber at 20,000 feet in total darkness only to have your aircraft strafed and rendered inoperable by enemy fire. Individual acts of great courage occur frequently during war, but often go unseen and unrecorded. Those that are remembered often stand out as examples for all to admire and respect. To know more about this story, visit the exhibit For Valour, produced by the Air Force Heritage Museum and Air Park and virtualmuseum.ca. Leave us your comments below, and tell us why this History Matters to you.

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What is the commonwealth’s highest decoration for military valour?

It’s 1854. The Crimean War rages between Britain and Russia. It’s one of the very first conflicts to feature modern day reporting. Dispatches from the front describe incredible acts of bravery by British soldiers that go unrecognized.

To acknowledge their gallantry, Queen Victoria orders the creation of a new medal for those who go above and beyond the call of duty in the presence of the enemy. Among the first recipients of the Victoria Cross is a young Canadian Lieutenant Alexander Roberts Dunn, for his bravery during the charge of the Light Brigade.

Of the 1,351 Victoria Crosses, awarded to soldiers for their acts of bravery, 93 have gone to Canadians.

In 1993, Queen Elizabeth the Second approves the creation of Canada’s own Victoria Cross. It resembles the original except that the inscription "For Valour” has been replaced with its Latin equivalent, Pro Valore.

To know more about the Victoria Cross and the amazing stories of seven Canadian airmen who were awarded the commonwealth’s highest decoration, go to History Matters at virtualmusem.ca.

And tell us why this history matters to you?

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One Response to For Valour: Canadian Airmen and the Victoria Cross

  1. Aurora Loiselle says:

    In respect to the Victoria Cross, we agree with Queen Victoria’s reasoning behind its creation

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