My first VC

Discussion in 'Memorials & Cemeteries' started by Antipodean Andy, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Saw my first VC (that I can remember, but safe to say my first) today at the Shrine of Rememberance here in Melbourne. It was this chap's:

    Grieve VC

    Which VCs have forum members been in the presence of?
  2. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Guest

    These are the VC's that I have seen in person;

    (Air Force Museum, Christchurch)
    *Jimmy Ward
    *Leonard Trent
    *Lloyd Trigg

    I also saw all of the VC's awarded to every Australian during WW1/WW2 at the AWM when I went to see "G" George.

    Beat that! ^^
  3. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Show off.

    They're not quite all there but it's the biggest collection of Australian VCs.
  4. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Guest

    True :)

    I watched a documentary on YouTube about the VC, presented by Jeremy Clarkson. He said there are six VC's at Hancocks in London, un-engraved, waiting to be awarded. He also talked about what it took to win Britain's highest medal for valour.
  5. Nostalgair

    Nostalgair New Member

    Hi All,

    I've been very fortunate.

    I've been to the Museum at Christchusrch about 18 months ago on a cricket tour, the VCs at the AWM and a special display of VCs and George Crosses at the IWM in London. The latter was the first time that I had ever seen a VC with a blue ribbon.

    I was also privileged to meet Sir Leonard Cheshire VC many years ago.

    As I said, I've been very fortunate.


  6. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Guest

    You're very lucky indeed to have met Leonard Cheshire, Owen :)
  7. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I don't think I've ever seen a VC up close :( I certainly don't remember seeing any at the IWM in my visits (but then again it has been many years since I've been)

    For anyone wanting to watch the programme (I would recommend it) I posted the links some months ago:
  8. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Didn't Prince Charles do a documentary on the awarding of the VC?
  9. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

  10. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    There is a VC gallery at the IWM - at the back and to the left of the main, large exhibits hall IIRC. Its possible that it was a temporary exhibition so I can't promise its still there. I was being pulled away by my children while in there so I didn't get a chance to note which VCs were there.


    Naval VCs had blue ribbons until about 1917.

    I have seen some VCs in "Firepower", the Royal Artillery Museum in the old Woolwich Arsenal. One that I remember is that of Major (later Group Captain) Lionel Rees, CO of 32 squadron RFC; he was originally an Artilleryman.

    As to Grieve having a great uncle who was awarded a VC in the Crimean War: Eugene Esmonde also had a great uncle who was awarded a VC in the Crimean War.
  11. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Thanks Adrian. I will keep an eye out when I next go because it does seem to be permanent display

    There were some father/son awards too

    The Exhibits & Firearms Collections at the Imperial War Museum : The Victoria Cross
  12. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Lieutenant Commander Eugene Esmonde won the Victoria Cross on Feb 12th 1942.

    Born in Yorkshire March 1st 1909, his father was a doctor from Drominagh, Co. Tipperary. The family returned home when Eugene was a year old. His great uncle Thomas Esmonde won a VC with the Royal Irish Regt in the Crimean war. Another ancestor was hung during the 1798 rebellion.

    Eugene Esmonde joined the RAF in 1928 and left after a few years. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1939, first with 754 Sqdn and then as OC of 825 Sqdn flying Fairey Swordfish. He won a DSO for leading his squadron in an attack on the Bismarckin May 1941. After this his squadron was transferred to the carrier HMS Ark Royal in the Mediterranean. After the aircraft carrier was damaged in November 1941the squadron was transferred ashore to England.

    In February 1942 the German battleships Gneiseau and Scharnhorst and the cruiser Prinz Eugen left Brest harbour and sailed through the English Channel to Wilhelmshaven in an episode that became known as the Channel Dash. Naturally the British were anxious to destroy these ships but also avoid the humiliation of having the German Navy sail within spitting distance of the Engish coast. As part of the attacks on the ships Esmonde’s 825 Sqdn were ordered to carry out a torpedo attack on the Prinz Eugen in the Straits of Dover. All six of the squadrons aircraft were destroyed in the action either by AA fire from the ships or by the escorting German fighters.

    Only 5 of the 18 crewmen survived the attack. Lt Cdr Eugene Esmonde was among the dead. Despite the fact that his plane was hit and ablaze, his two crewmen were already dead and he himself probably dying, he continued his torpedo run on the Prinz Eugen. His plane crashed into the sea after the torpedo had been released.

    Lt Cdr Esmonde’s mother was presented with his VC on March 17th 1942 at Buckingham Palace by King George VI. The day before he died, Eugene Esmonde had been at the same place being presented with his DSO. His body was washed ashore in April and he is buried in Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham.

  13. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

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