The Victoria Cross (VC)

Now named

The Victoria Cross 

Only 96 have been awarded to Australians since the Victoria Cross’s inception in by Queen Victoria in January of 1856.

Of these 28 where conferred posthumously. This number includes 6 awarded to Australians while on service with other than Australian units.

The breakdown by service is as follows; Australian Army - 89, Royal Australian Air Force - 1, South African Constabulary - 1, British Army - 3, Royal Air Force - 2.

The first awarded to an Australian was to Capt Neville Reginald Howse of the NSW Army Medical Corps during the Boer War on 24th July 1900

The last awarded to an Australian was to Keith Payne of The Australian Army Training Team - Vietnam (AATTV) on 24th May 1969

Instituted in1856 by Queen Victoria by Warrant made retrospective to 1854.

Claus Five of the Warrant sets forth:-

"The Cross would only be awarded to those Officers and Men who have served Us in the presence of the enemy and shall then have performed some signal act of Valour or Devotion to their country."

Claus Six of the Warrant sets forth:-

"that neither rank nor long service nor wounds nor any other circumstances or condition whatsoever save the merit of conspicuous bravery shall be held to establish a sufficient claim for the honour."

Of the 1349 award of The Victoria Cross, 96 have been Ausralians

On January 15 1991 The Queen instituted the Victoria Cross for Australia. The decoration is the highest that can be awarded to a person in wartime. It is awarded to a person who, in the presence of the enemy, performs acts of the most conspicuous gallantry, or daring or pre-eminent acts of valour or self-sacrifice or display extreme devotion to duty. It may be awarded posthumously. None have been awarded since 1991.

Victoria Cross Citations

Last Updated 22 February, 2009