Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Friday, 16 May 2008

The Canadian Victoria Cross

Canada mints its own Victoria Cross in time for Victoria Day Weekend.

450_cp_cross_080516Gov.-Gen. Michaelle Jean, along with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, unveiled the Canadian Victoria Cross at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Friday, May 16, 2008. The unveiling means the Canadian system of military honours is now entirely our own, said military historian Jack Granatstein.

"It takes the last of the military honours that we offer out of British hands," said Granatstein earlier this week. "The difference now is that the Victoria Cross would be minted for the Canadian government and given out wholly by the Canadian government. In other words, we wouldn't take one from the British stockpile and have the Queen award it."

Memo to Mr. Granatstein: My boy Jack, why pray tell us, would you not want the Queen of Canada to award it? The Canadian version of the Victoria Cross will still be issued under the Queen's Warrant!

The Canadian Victoria Cross is very similar to its British predecessor - a bronze cross suspended from a crimson ribbon bearing a lion and crown insignia - with the addition of a fleur-de-lis and the English motto "For Valour" changed to the Latin, "Pro Valore." The cross is created using a mix of three metals - gunmetal, also used in the production of the British version, bronze from a Confederation medallion commissioned in 1867, and other naturally occurring metals from across Canada.

_done_0516viccross_400bigThe original Victoria Cross was created by Queen Victoria in 1856 following the Crimean War and was awarded for "gallantry in the presence of the enemy." A total of 1,356 VCs have been awarded, with 94 Canadians receiving the honour. The last Canadian to garner the prize was navy pilot Hampton Gray in 1945. All of the Canadian recipients are now deceased.

The Victoria Cross is the highest Canadian honour that can be bestowed upon a person of any rank or civilians under military command, even outranking the Order of Canada. As a result, the cross is rarely awarded. Only three have been given out in the past 20 years, one to a British soldier, one to a Grenadian and one to a New Zealander, all for saving other members of the forces while under fire.

The first Canadian to be awarded the medal will join a "legendary" group of individuals, said Harper. "Every day in military missions at home and abroad, Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen are putting their lives on the line for us," he said. "We rarely hear about their every day heroics but someday, somewhere, these men and women will do something so brave, so gallant, so exceptional that we will hear about it."

10 comments:

Viscount Feldon said...

Jack Granatstein seems to quite afraid of anything that's a reminder of the UK. He was a commentator for the CBC's coverage of the rededication of the memorial at Vimy Ridge and he expressed disdain for the fact that the red ensign was flying, because he felt that only the maple leaf should have flown.

Lord Best said...

Is this new medal truly a Victoria Cross then, or is it in effect a local imitation?

Anonymous said...

Its as much a VC as the British, Australian or NZ versions. At the end of the day it isn't the lump of worthless metal, but the deeds that earned it which count.
Besides a)it still has a proportion of the original Crimean gun metal (donated by the UK) and b) it's still a Royal honour in which HM has reserved the final say in it's award.

Mac

Anonymous said...

Is this new medal truly a Victoria Cross then, or is it in effect a local imitation?

It's as fake as the Australian version...

Moron.

Lord Best said...

Thank you to Mac for answering my question, I was unsure whether the Crimean gunmetal was included.

Oh dear, an anonymous person has called me a moron, how will my ego ever recover?
Strange as it may seem, not everyone is exceptionall familiar with the Victoria Cross and how it works.

Shaftesbury said...

While I am glad we retained a version of it; I remain saddened that we saw fit to ever have delisted it as a Decoration within the Canadian Honours System. I would have preferred to keep it a total and personal Gift of Her Majesty.

Damn PET!

Viscount Feldon said...

To "keep it" a total and personal gift of Her Majesty, it would have to have originally been so. Even in the UK, it's awarded on advice of the Ministry of Defence.

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

IIRC, the VC was re-instated in Canada in the 1990's, yet it is not until now that one is minted. I wonder if this means one will soon be awarded to a hero for deeds in Afghanistan...?

Anonymous said...

In response to Shaftebury's comments, the VC has never been the total personal gift of the sovereign (unlike the RVO or KG) . After all the award was orginally conceived due to pressure from MPs!
The award of the VC has always been made on the reccomendation of various people in the Armed Forces or Ministries of Defence etc.
However, the sovereign does retain the final say.

Mac

Anonymous said...

More sad result from the wrongheaded Nickle resolution.