The Victoria Cross was introduced by Queen Victoria in 1856 for ‘most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy’. Since then it has been awarded only 1,358 times.
A landmark addition to the Forgotten Voices series, Forgotten Voices of the Victoria Cross (Ebury, 2010) sheds new light on the actions and events that led to the VC being awarded. Collected from the Imperial War Museum’s Sound Archives, some testimonies come from soldiers, sailors and airmen who were awarded the VC, while others come from witnesses of extraordinary acts for which the medal was won. The majority of these first-hand accounts are published here for the first time.
From the Introduction by General Sir Richard Dannatt
"This profound study by Roderick Bailey goes a long way to identifying the common characteristics of the bravest of the brave . . . Here is a testament to what is good about humankind against the backdrop of what can be the worst. The abiding thought with which the reader is left is one of hope; that adversity can indeed bring out the best in us. These "Forgotten Voices" are eloquent in proclaiming this enduring truth"