The Victoria Cross (VC; French: Croix de Victoria) was created in 1993, perpetuating the lineage of the British Victoria Cross, while serving as the highest award within the Canadian honours system, taking precedence over all other orders, decorations, and medals.
- 2 February 1993
- Currently awarded
The first award to a Canadian was in February 1857, to Lt. Alexander DUNN (Charge of the Light Brigade). Eligibility and criteria The Victoria Cross is awarded for most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour, self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.
Victoria Cross recipients These 81 Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross through acts of valour in the South African War, the First World War and the Second World War. These 81 members of the Canadian Armed Forces were awarded the Victoria Cross through acts of valour.
- The South African War
- The First World War
- The Second World War
At the outbreak of the South African War, no one serving in a Canadian military uniform had yet been awarded a Victoria Cross. That was about to change. In 1899 the Canadian government committed formed military units to an overseas conflict for the first time. The conflict revolved around major disagreements between the Boers and British colonists but Canada participated to support the motherland. Although Canada would send infantry, cavalry, artillery and medical units to fight in the South African War, as far as the Canadian military recipients of the Victoria Cross were concerned, this was entirely a cavalry endeavour. Sergeant Arthur Herbert Lindsay Richardson was the first member of the Canadian armed forces to be awarded the Victoria Cross. A member of Strathcona’s Horse, Sergeant Richardson was born in Southport, England, in 1873, and later immigrated to Canada. After working on a ranch, he joined the North West Mounted Police, where he was a Corporal at the time of his enlis...
It was during the First World War that Canada’s military involvement overseas reached incredible proportions in terms of the numbers of Canadians serving, the staggering losses suffered and the impact the Canadian Corps had on the campaigns in which it served. The number Victoria Crosses awarded to members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force reflected the intensity of the nation’s contribution, sixty-four being awarded to its soldiers and airmen. Lance-Corporal Frederick Fisher was the first member of the CEFawarded the Victoria Cross. The 1st Division had arrived on the continent in February 1915 and spent several weeks becoming accustomed to life in a war zone. Lance-Corporal Fisher was a member of the 13th Battalion, CEF, one of the numerous units forming the 1st Division. Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, in 1896, Fisher attended high school and university in Montreal, and joined the 5th Regiment “Royal Highlanders of Canada” when the war broke out. He was in command of a Colt ma...
Just twenty years later Canada was at war again, a significant participant in the Second World War. The nation’s contribution was just as widespread as in the earlier conflict, witnessing Canadians fighting on sea, land and in the air around the globe. The Canadian military’s involvement in combat would lead to the award of thieteen Victoria Crosses and thousands of other Commonwealth awards for gallantry. Company Sergeant-Major John Robert Osborn earned his Victoria Cross in the fighting in Hong Kong on 19 December 1941. The next awards to members of the Canadian military came exactly eight months later, on 19 August 1942, during the disastrous raid on Dieppe, France. Honorary Captain John Weir Foote and Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt heroically stepped into history that fateful day. The next man in a Canadian uniform to earn the Victoria Cross did so in Italy. Captain Paul Triquet, a company commander with the Royal 22e Régiment, led his men and a handful of Ca...
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A Canadian Victoria Cross was created in 1993 to replace the British decoration, the awarding of which was discontinued in the early 1970s. The new decoration was presented to the public for the first time in a ceremony in Ottawa in 2008.
The first Canadian to be awarded the Victoria Cross was Alexander Roberts Dunn for his actions at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War in 1854. William Hall, a Nova Scotian, was the first black recipient of the Victoria Cross. The last living Canadian recipient of the British Victoria Cross, “Smokey” Smith, died in August 2005 ...
Currie, a major at the time, was awarded the Victoria Cross for leading a small battle group of Canadian tanks and infantry that stopped the German army from escaping the Falaise Pocket in 1944.
The first Canadian to be awarded the Victoria Cross was Alexander Roberts Dunn for his actions at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War in 1854. William Hall, a Nova Scotian, was the first black recipient of the Victoria Cross. The last living Canadian recipient of the British Victoria Cross, "Smokey" Smith, died in August 2005 ...
Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for valour in the British armed forces, awarded for extreme bravery in the face of the enemy. It was instituted in 1856 by Queen Victoria at the request of her consort, Prince Albert. The first crosses were awarded during the Crimean War. In 1858, new statutes
Canadian Victoria Cross Recipients Orders and Decorations - Canadian Victoria Cross Recipients Full citations to these awards are recorded in Valiant Men, Canadian War Museum Historical Publications, A.M. Hakkert Ltd.