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Gareth Davies

VC - 90%

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Gareth Davies

"The Victoria Cross is won for an act of bravery for which there is a 90% chance or greater you will be killed achieving it...

 

Is this true?

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p070tyw7

 

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Steven Broomfield

Having seen how well some of these experts do on programmes such as Bargain Hunt (i.e., appallingly), I would always take a massive shovel full of snuff with anything they say.

 

That said, I do suspect that the criteria have shifted towards a presumption of death in recent years. For example, a local politician here in Southampton (now an MP) received 'only' a GM for tackling and subduing an armed naval rating who had already shot and killed his CO. PC Keith Palmer (who was killed) received only a GM, I believe.

 

Yes, I think the standards have become stricter.

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Gareth Davies

They may well have. But is there any evidence to support the 90% figure?

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John Milner

 Your politician and PC Palmer were not members of the armed forces and not at war, so no VC, or I believe GC, the difference between a VC and a GC is the VC is given for act of bravery during war time when facing the enemy and the GC when not facing the enemy, which is what the guy on Antiques Roadshow said.  In peace time the GM is given.

 

John

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paulgranger

Gary Meades' 'Victoria's Cross' has much to say on the current criteria for being awarded a VC, and IIRC has much the same view, that it is a virtual certainty that VCs awarded these days, will be posthumous. Incidentally, I did not catch the name of the GC holder who was featured in the programme

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IPT

 

4 minutes ago, John Milner said:

 Your politician and PC Palmer were not members of the armed forces and not at war, so no VC, or I believe GC, the difference between a VC and a GC is the VC is given for act of bravery during war time when facing the enemy and the GC when not facing the enemy, which is what the guy on Antiques Roadshow said.  In peace time the GM is given.

 

John

 

I'm not sure that's correct. Of the men who helped prevent Princess Anne being kidnapped by a gunman, one received the GC, one the GM, and the other three the Queen's Gallantry Medal.  I suspect that these days, the criteria for the GC are very similar to those for the VC, and that it has equal status.

 

Regarding the 90% claim, it's clearly not one of the official caveats but it is suspected that it may be one the unofficial, arbitrary requirements of the VC committee.

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seaJane
26 minutes ago, paulgranger said:

Incidentally, I did not catch the name of the GC holder who was featured in the programme

 

I don't think it was mentioned on the programme, but someone has been keeping Wikipedia updated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Amin_Effendi_Hemeida

 

sJ

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paulgranger

Ah, his medal was converted to a George Cross, which probably explains why he's not listed in Lord Ashcroft's book of GC holders.

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ajsmith

Of the 15 VCs awarded since the end of WWII 8 have been awarded posthumously. It wasn't until the end of the 19th century that posthumous awards were made at all and the concept wasn't made official until 1920, though there were many such awards made 'unofficially' after about 1896. 

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Ron Clifton

I think that the proportion of posthumous VCs from the Great War is about 50%, and a similar ratio applies to the small number awarded for the modern conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to this thread I had never seen any references to a 90% ratio of danger of death (as distinct from actual death).

 

It is possible that those responsible for recommending awards to Her Majesty use an informal guide of this kind in order to maintain the quality and prestige of the award, but I don't think that there is any kind of published rule as suggested in the quotation in original post.

 

As Broomers has suggested, any comments on medals made by "experts" on antiques programmes should be taken with a massive pinch of salt.

 

Ron

Edited by Ron Clifton

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Gareth Davies

The proportion of posthumous VCs from the Great War is 25% (159 out of 628).  

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pjwmacro

I have heard the 90% figure quoted before - but only on TV programmes. I have never seen or heard of it being in any way an official "unofficial" guide. (Please excuse the tortology - hopefully clear what I mean!)

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Ron Clifton
19 hours ago, Gareth Davies said:

The proportion of posthumous VCs from the Great War is 25% (159 out of 628).  

Thanks for the correction, Gareth, although on re-checking my statistics, obtained from the Register of the Victoria Cross, I have 191 out of 628, or 30%. Still a long way below 90%, though.

 

Ron

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Steven Broomfield

Going slightly off-topic, I often wonder how many were killed, missing or died of wounds after being awarded a VC. I can think of several but I wonder if there's an 'official' statistic anywhere.

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Gareth Davies

I looked for it a while ago but didn't find anything.  It's a figure I would be very interested to know.

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Ron Clifton

I had another look at my statistics, comparing date of action with date of death.

 

Died same day: 120

Died next day: 24

Died 2 - 7 days later: 23

Died more than a week later: 24

In the last case, five were between one and two months, and three over two months.

 

Ron 

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mark holden

Gareth,

 

I have a recollection that in the last review of awards by MOD during HERRICK/TELIC there was a published table of gallantry awards and their 'weighting' to assist CO's write up awards. The figure of 90% sounds familiar. Sadly I can't recall the document title or year of publication.

 

Regards

 

Mark

 

  

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Gareth Davies

Thanks Mark.  I wonder if it was an old policy revisited or a new one.

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