NEWS RELEASE Tenth Victoria Cross Awarded to a British Soldier “For Valour” Since WWII

 

As the Victoria Cross, awarded posthumously to Lance Corporal James Ashworth has now been confirmed by the MOD and widely reported in the media, the Victoria Cross Trust wishes to take this opportunity to commend the bravery that the service men awarded the Victoria Cross over the years continue to demonstrate as they carry out their duties around the world. With such a rare award bestowed upon the 23 year old from Northamptonshire, it is with great sadness but tremendous honour that the Trust recognises and praises those awarded a Victoria Cross.

Lance Corporal James Ashworth tragically gave his life to protect the remaining members of his platoon and the Victoria Cross Trust wants to ensure that men like L/Cpl James Ashworth are never forgotten. The Victoria Cross is the highest level of honour that can be awarded to any member of the military forces.

Gary Stapleton, Chairman of the Victoria Cross Trust, said: “Although this cannot replace a lost loved one, this honoured recognition, awarded by Her Majesty the Queen, should be a reminder to the rest of our nation the level of gallantry our servicemen lay down for our country.”

L/Cpl James Ashworth is only the 10th British soldier to be awarded a Victoria Cross since World War II and only the second for services in Afghanistan. The Victoria Cross is only awarded to a person who shows extreme valour in the face of the enemy. Since the award was first gazetted in 1856 the Victoria Cross has been awarded only 1,361 times, which makes the award so rare.

Since 2011 the Victoria Cross Trust has strived to discover the deteriorating graves of Victoria Cross holders and restore them to a standard they deserve. “It is an honour to pay our respects to our Valorous Few,” added Gary Stapleton. “Our thoughts are with the Ashworth family, who at this time are still grieving for their loss, who are obviously proud of his actions in battle and that he will be immortalised forever in history for his courage. We work hard to ensure men like L/Cpl James Ashworth are remembered in a way that reflects the service they paid to their country, and it is our honour to work with the families and volunteers who wish to remember and uphold the memory of Victoria Cross holders.”

 

About the Victoria Cross Trust

The Victoria Cross Trust exists to repair and preserve the neglected graves of Victoria Cross holders, and perpetuate their memory and ensure they are honoured. Only the graves of the servicemen that have been awarded the military honour who died on the battlefield during the First and Second World War are looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, otherwise it is the responsibility of the living relatives. However many of these graves have been neglected which is when the Victoria Cross Trust is needed. Established in 2011 the Victoria Cross Trust aims to ensure all the graves of our bravest servicemen are remembered in a manner that reflects their valour.

The work of the Victoria Cross Trust restoring the graves of service men can only continue with the help of the donations from the public, to donate please visit the Trust’s JustGiving page and pledge to help commemorate our nations’ heroes.

 

For more information please visit http://www.victoriacrosstrust.org/ or contact:

Joanne Turner

Proactive PR

+44 1636 812 512

joanne.turner@proactive-pr.com

Has Johnson Beharry VC been promoted to Sergeant? Looks like it!

It certainly would appear so. In the news article reporting his recent wedding which was published by the Daily Mail on the 18th March 2013  he can clearly be seen wearing Sergeant stripes on his dress blues. The Victoria Cross Trust would like to be amongst the first to congratulate Sergeant Beharry VC on his promotion, which is clearly deserved.

UPDATE

We have spoken to the MOD who confirm that Johnson Beharry VC is now Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC. The change in title is due to him now being based within London District and being part of the Foot Guards. Therefore it is not a promotion as Lance Sergeant is the equivalent of Corporal but is in fact a change of title.

The Victoria Cross Since World War Two – A simple guide for Journalists.

Major Kenneth Muir VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Muir_%28VC%29 (British Army)

Colonel James Power Carne VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Carne (British Army)

Lieutenant Philip Kenneth Edward Curtis VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Curtis (British Army)

William Speakman-Pitt VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Speakman (Living Recipient) (British Army)

Rambahadur Limbu VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambahadur_Limbu (Living Recipient) (British Army)

Kevin Arthur Wheatley VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Wheatley

Peter John Badcoe VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Badcoe

Rayene Stewart “Ray” Simpson VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Simpson_%28VC%29

Keith Payne VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Payne (Living Recipient)

Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert Jones VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27H%27._Jones (British Army)

Ian John McKay VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_McKay (British Army)

Corporal Johnson Gideon Beharry VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_Beharry (Living Recipient) (British Army)

Bill Henry “Willie” Apiata VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Apiata (Living Recipient) (New Zealand Army)

Bryan James Budd VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryan_Budd (British Army)

Corporal Mark Gregor Strang Donaldson VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Donaldson (Living Recipient) (Australian Army)

Corporal Benjamin “Ben” Roberts-Smith VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Roberts-Smith (Living Recipient) (Australian Army)

Corporal Daniel Alan Keighran VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Keighran (Living Recipient) (Australian Army)

James Ashworth VC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ashworth (British Army)

 

The Victoria Cross has been awarded (since 1856) 1361 times to 1358 men ( 3 men awarded twice) US Unknown Soldier & VC For Australia and VC for New Zealand included

We include the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand VC as part of our figures, based on the principle that it is still awarded by Queen Elizabeth II

There has been a total of 10 British servicemen awarded the VC since WW2

The Victoria Cross has been awarded 17 times since WW2 (inc one VC Of New Zealand and three VC’s Of Australia)

There are 9 Living VC recipients  John Alexander Cruickshank VC (not listed above) was awarded during WW2

The Victoria Cross is never ‘Won’ it is awarded.

Victoria Cross hero Johnson Beharry getting married | The Sun |News|Campaigns|Our Boys

VICTORIA Cross hero Johnson Beharry is to marry tomorrow after a whirlwind romance with a glamorous dentist.

 

His relationship with stunning Mallissa Venice Noel, 27, only became known late last year.

Now the lovestruck couple will tie the knot at Westminster Register Office tomorrow at 11am with Cpl Beharry wearing full military uniform.

A further ceremony will be held at the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy.

Later it is believed the newlyweds will be serenaded by the Army Wives Choir at a plush bash in the Senate House at University College London.

Everyone working at the event has agreed to donate their wages to the Help for Heroes charity.

Mallissa, who is from Cpl Beharry’s native Grenada, first appeared by his side at a charity bash in London last November.

She beamed: “He’s wonderful.” And the soldier, 33, hinted even then of wedding bells, saying: “Yes, I think we are heading in that direction.”

It will be the war hero’s second marriage. He split from first wife Lynthia in 2005, blaming the trauma of his war experiences.

He told her the relationship was over just days after the Queen pinned the VC on him in Buckingham Palace in 2005.

Cpl Beharry was given the top honour for his bravery while a private with 1st Battalion, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment in Iraq.

He saved 30 comrades in two battles in 2004. In the first incident, the troop-carrier driver led a convoy of Warriors out of an ambush while rescuing colleagues.

via Victoria Cross hero Johnson Beharry getting married | The Sun |News|Campaigns|Our Boys.

EXCLUSIVE: Victoria Cross for fallen Lance Corporal James Ashworth | The Sun |News|Campaigns|Our Boys

A FALLEN soldier is to be awarded the Victoria Cross — Britain’s top bravery medal.Lance Corporal James Ashworth, 23, died protecting comrades in Afghanistan last year.Awestruck pals hailed the bravery which earned the 23-year-old hero his VC — calling it “beyond words”.The soldier died in a grenade blast during a ferocious battle with the Taliban last June.He was on foot patrol and battling his way through compounds against determined enemy fighters when he was fatally wounded in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand.Victoria Cross medalCross … the medal is top for gallantryBNPSImmediately after his death, comrades spoke of his jaw-dropping courage.Guardsman Jordan Loftus said: “Selfless, brave, courageous — words like these don’t come close to what Ash demonstrated that day.“He will be missed by all as a commander but, most of all, a good mate.”L/Cpl Ashworth, who served with the Reconnaissance Platoon of 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, becomes only the tenth British soldier to receive the ultimate recognition for gallantry since World War II.He is just the SECOND Brit awarded a VC for actions during the 12-year Afghan war.

via EXCLUSIVE: Victoria Cross for fallen Lance Corporal James Ashworth | The Sun |News|Campaigns|Our Boys.

“Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.”  – Adrian Carton de Wiart VC

Volunteers needed nr Windsor 7th & 8th May 2013

On the 7th & 8th of May 2013 the Victoria Cross Trust shall be working on location at Holy Trinity Churchyard in Sunningdale Nr Windsor with servicemen from 8Sqn RAF based at RAF Waddington.

Subject to force availability, soldiers from the Household Cavalry ( Blues & Royals ) based in Windsor will also be giving us a hand.

Our Patron Mr Duane Ashworth, father of James Ashworth VC will be one of the volunteers helping us with this project

 

Patron Duane Ashworth                           James Ashworth VC

We have arranged for a stonemason to be onsite during the 7th May to clean and repair the grave of Air Marshall West VC Whilst this is being completed we will be cleaning and doing maintenance work on the cemetery.

West VC GraveWest VC HeadstoneWest VC Grave Damage

To do this we are requesting the assistance of volunteers for either of the two days ( or both if possible)

If you are interested in taking part and wish to be involved, please email info@victoriacrosstrust.org and let us know your contact details and the dates you are available.

Poem – Tommy

“Hurrah! For The Life Of A Soldier”

Tommy

By Rudyard Kipling, 1892

I went into a public- ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,

The publican ‘e up an sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”

The girls behind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,

I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy go away”;

But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play-

The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,

O it’s “Thank you Mr Atkins,” when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,

They gave a drunk civilian roo, but ‘adn’t none for me;

They sent me to the gallery or round the music-’alls,

But when it comes to fighting’, Lord! They’ll shove me in the stalls!

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy wait outside”;

But it’s “Special train for Atkins,” when the trooper’s on the tide-

The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,

O it’s “Special train for Atkins,” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep

Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;

An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit

Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy ‘ow’s yer soul?”

But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll-

The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,

O it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes,” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,

But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;

An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,

Why single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy fall be’ind,”

But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind-

There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,

O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:

We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.

Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face

The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck ‘im out, the brute!”

But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;

An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;

An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!

via Poem – Tommy.

Ferdinand Maurice Felix West VC Appeal

FREDDIE WEST VC

Affectionately known as ‘Freddie’ West by those that knew him, he started his military career in 1914 as a Private in the RAMC, he ended it in 1946 as an Air Commodore in the RAF.
His entire career is a story of heroism and displays of true valor. http://www.rafweb.org/Biographies/West_FMF.htm

Despite losing a leg during his VC action, he returned to action as a combat pilot and eventually became the Air Attache in Berne Switzerland where he assisted allied airman escape from Nazi Occupied Germany, the Gestapo were so concerned about his activities they put a ‘bounty’ on his head prompting him to hire his own bodyguard.

Freddie West holds the distinction of being awarded the first VC of the newly formed Royal Air Force whilst serving with 8 SQN RAF in France. Freddie died in 1988 and is buried in Sunningdale Nr Windsor in Berkshire.

Citation for the award of the Victoria Cross

“Air Ministry, 8th November, 1918. 

His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to Lieut, (actg. Capt.) Ferdinand Maurice Felix West, M.C., – Royal Air Force (formerly of the Special Reserve, Royal Munster Fusiliers), in recognition of his outstanding bravery in aerial combat.

Captain West, while engaging hostile troops at a low altitude far over the enemy lines, was attacked by seven aircraft. Early in the engagement one of his legs was partially severed by an explosive bullet, and fell powerless into the controls, rendering the machine for the time unmanageable. Lifting his disabled leg, he regained control of the machine, and, although wounded in the other leg, he, with surpassing bravery and devotion to duty, manoeuvred his machine so skilfully that his observer was enabled to get several good bursts into the enemy machines, which drove them away. Captain West then, with rare courage, and determination, desperately wounded as he was, brought his machine over our lines and landed safely. Exhausted by his exertions, he fainted, but on regaining consciousness insisted on writing his report.

West VC GraveWest VC Grave DamageWest VC Headstone

His grave has now become extremely degraded as a result of neglect. We intend to ensure that this situation changes and a maintenance plan is put into action.

Following liaison and discussions with 8 Squadron RAF based in RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire we have put together an action plan to renovate the grave of Freddie West VC and the cemetery grounds in Sunningdale.

On the 7th and 8th of May 2013, the Victoria Cross Trust will travel with airmen of 8 Sqn RAF to Windsor, where we will work with volunteers from RHG/D (Blues & Royals) of the Household Cavalry based in Combermere Barracks, Windsor.

We shall spend two days on site in Sunningdale with other civilian volunteers, members of the VC Trust and 459 (Windsor) Squadron Air Cadets. During this time, the grave itself shall be professionally cleaned and repaired by a qualified team of stonemasons. The remainder of the cemetery (now in the hands of the local authority) will be cleaned and renovated by our combined team of military and civilian volunteers.

In the meantime we need to raise the funds needed for this project. To assist in this task we have set up an appeal for funds, please assist if you can.  http://www.justgiving.com/FMFWestVCAppeal

Now a final date has been secured members of the Press, local dignitaries and the public shall be invited to come along and witness the work being done to the grave and to Holy Trinity Cemetery.