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How To Tell The Difference Between The Victoria Cross And The George Cross

The Victoria Cross (VC)

  • Created 29 January 1856
  • Recognises acts of extreme bravery carried out under direct enemy fire
  • First bravery medal that could be earned by anyone in the Army or the Navy
  • The act which earns the award must be witnessed by several individuals
  • Named after Queen Victoria, who personally chose the inscription
  • Inscribed 'For Valour'
  • Design shows a lion guarding the Royal Crown
  • Design emphasises the personal link between the British monarch and recipients of the VC
  • Hand-made, traditionally using bronze taken from a gun captured in the Crimean War
  • Awarded to over 1,300 people since its creation
  • Deliberately intended to have little actual value – its value lies in what it stands for and what people do to earn it

The George Cross (GC)

  • Created 24 September 1940
  • Recognises acts of extreme bravery carried out by civilians and military personal when not under enemy fire
  • The act which earns the award must be witnessed by several individuals
  • Named after King George VI, who personally designed many details on the medal
  • Inscription reads 'For Gallantry'
  • The words surround an image of St George slaying a dragon
  • Made from solid silver by the Royal Mint
  • Since its creation, more than 400 people have been awarded the GC