Victoria Cross plaque receives Royal unveiling
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The plaque honours the 70 Canadians awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.
Today (10 November 2014) 70 Canadian recipients of the Victoria Cross, the United Kingdom’s highest award for gallantry, were honoured as Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal unveiled a bronze plaque mounted prominently on the British High Commission. In a sunset ceremony, Her Royal Highness was joined by British High Commissioner Howard Drake, Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino, Canadian Chief of the Defence Staff Thomas Lawson, Canadian veterans and members of the British and Canadian armed forces.
British High Commissioner Howard Drake said:
“I am deeply honoured to present this plaque, a gift from the people of the United Kingdom, in the presence of Her Royal Highness and the brave men and women of our armed forces. The First World War was a defining moment for both Canada and Britain and one that profoundly strengthened our relationship. The self-sacrifice and valour by those whose names now adorn the very walls of the British High Commission will be a permanent and public reminder of the values we share and hold so dear”.
Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino said:
“I am honoured to witness the unveiling of this fitting tribute to these great heroes of the First World War. This commemorative plaque will ensure the bravery, valour, and devotion to duty demonstrated by these courageous men will never be forgotten.”
Last year the UK government launched a campaign to honour those men awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War. Many of these men came from outside of the United Kingdom, including a large number from Canada. To honour them, the government commissioned bronze plaques inscribed with the names of recipients to be sent to their home countries as a symbol of the gratitude felt towards them by the people of the United Kingdom.
Bronze plaques were commissioned to recognise 175 Victoria Cross winners in total from 11 countries. Canada has the highest number of overseas recipients with 70. Other countries for whom plaques have been commissioned are Australia (66 Victoria Cross winners), New Zealand (16), South Africa (14), India (6) USA (5), Pakistan (3) Nepal (2), Denmark (2), Belgium (1) and Ukraine (1).
More information about the First World War Centenary
Photos of the event will be made available on the British High Commission Flickr site.
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