The Victoria Cross

During the Great War of 1914 to 1919, 628 Victoria Crosses were awarded. In total six Nottingham-born war heroes were awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award of the British honours system:

Sapper William Hackett V.C.
Born 11 June, 1873, Nottingham.
Served in the 254th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers.

306122 Sergeant William Henry Johnson V.C.
Born 15 October 1890, Worksop, Nottinghamshire.
Served in 1/5th Battalion
Sherwood Foresters.

Colonel Sir Charles Geoffrey Vickers V.C
Born 13 October, 1894.
Served in the 1/7th Robin Hood Battalion, Sherwood Foresters.

Captain Albert Ball V.C.
Born 14 August 1896, Lenton, Nottingham.
Served in the 7th Robin Hood Battalion, Sherwood Foresters, commissioned in October, 1914.

Private Samuel Harvey V.C.
Born 17 September, 1891, Basford, Nottingham.
Served in the 1st Battalion
York and Lancaster Regiment.

Wilfrid Dolby Fuller V.C.
Born East Kirby, Greasley, Nottinghamshire, 28 July 1893.
Served in the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

Descendants of Victoria Cross heroes

We are trying to trace the descendants of these six local Great War heroes who were awarded the Victoria Cross for their outstanding bravery.

If you are a descendant of any of Nottinghamshire’s Great War Victoria Cross recipients, please contact Neil Bettison, Community Officer at Nottinghamshire County Council:

About the Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross medal. Bronze cross pattée woth a crimson ribbon

The Victoria Cross was founded by Royal Warrant on 29 January, 1856.

It was originally intended to be awarded solely to members of the Royal Navy and British Army who, serving in the presence of the enemy, should have performed some signal act of valour or devotion to their country. An important clause laid down that "neither rank, nor long service, nor wounds, nor any other circumstances or conditions whatsoever, save the merit of conspicuous bravery" should establish a sufficient claim to the honour, thereby placing "all persons on a perfectly equal footing in relation to eligibility for the decoration".

The Victoria Cross therefore became the most democratic honour in the annals of military and naval history.

Queen Victoria chose the design for the decoration herself. It is in the form of a Maltese Cross ensigned with the Royal Crest and a scroll inscribed simply 'For Valour'.
It is connected by a V-shaped link to a bar engraved on the face with laurel leaves, with space on the reverse for the recipient’s name. The date of the deed for which the honour is bestowed is engraved on the back of the Cross itself. It is worn on the left breast suspended from a 1.5" inch wide red ribbon. The actual Cross itself is made of bronze and was originally cast from cannons captured at Sevastopol in the Crimean War 1854-6.

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