cross patté (described in the Royal Warrant as a 'Maltese cross of bronze') having at its centre a crown surmounted by 'lion gardant'; beneath the crown an ornamentally draped scroll bearing the motto: 'FOR VALOUR'. Raised borders outline the shape of the cross. The plain reverse bears a central circle (with raised edge) to enclose the date of the act of gallantry. The suspension bar comprises a straight laurelled bar with integral 'V' lug; the plain reverse of the suspension bar is engraved with details of the recipient. The 1½-inch wide ribbon is crimson.
[Note: originally the ribbon was dark blue for Royal Navy recipients and crimson (described as 'red' in the Warrants) for the Army. After the formation of the Royal Air Force (1 April 1918) the crimson ribbon (sometimes described as 'claret', 'maroon' or 'dark red', was adopted for all recipients. When present, a straight laurelled Bar (in the same form as the suspension bar but without the 'V' lug) indicates a subsequent award.]
Biographical note (recipient): 'Horace Martineau was born in Bayswater, London, on 31 October 1874, and following his education at University College School, enlisted in the 11th Hussars in 1891 and served with the regiment in Natal and later in India before purchasing his discharge and returning to South Africa in 1895. In 1896 he served under Colonel Sir Robert Baden-Powell in the successful campaign against the Matebele. He then joined the Cape Police and on the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899, joined the Protectorate Regiment (North West Cape Colony ) with which he served in the South African campaign of 1899-1902, taking part in the defence of Mafeking.
Following his act of gallantry on 26 December 1899 (for which he won the VC) and, in the process, was seriously wounded, Horace Martineau took no further part in the South African war and took up employment with the African Boating Company, a large concern in Durban. Upon the outbreak of the First World War he was living in New Zealand and immediately joined the New Zealand Otago Regiment, serving with the Transport Service of the ANZACS seeing service in Suez and action in the Gallipoli campaign.
It was while he was in Gallipoli that he contracted a fever, fell seriously ill, and was invalided back home to New Zealand. He eventually died from the results of the fever on 8th April 1916, aged 41 years. Horace Martineau is buried in Anderson's Bay Cemetery, Duneden. His name also appears on the family grave in Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey, England.'
[Web source: http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/bbmartin.htm
accessed 8 October 2010]