Canada reinstates VC

Discussion in 'SitRep' started by pbfoot, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    The Globe and Mail reported Saturday that Queen Elizabeth will present the medal at a ceremony marking the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France.

    The move would restore the medal -- awarded just 1,350 times since it was installed by Queen Victoria in the 1850s after the Crimean War -- to the top spot in Canada's list of military decorations.

    Only 94 Canadians have received the medal.

    The Victoria Cross was first awarded to a Canadian in 1856, and most recently in 1945. None of the recipients are still living.

    In the past, the medals were cast by Hancock, a London jewellery retailer, but a source has told The Globe the medal has now been designed and produced in Canada for the first time.

    Emmanuelle Sajous, deputy herald chancellor at Rideau Hall, said it would be at least a couple of weeks before final decisions are made about how the made-in-Canada Victoria Cross will be presented to the public.

    "Nothing is confirmed," Sajous said. "We don't have any details about how and who and where and when. There are a lot of options and a lot of different events being planned."

    The departments of Veterans' Affairs, Defence, Canadian Heritage and Natural Resources - along with the Royal Canadian Mint have all been involved in the design.

    Military historian Jack Granatstein told The Globe the physical reinstatement of the Victoria Cross is a milestone for Canada.

    "There is clearly an attachment to the VC as a pretty scarce gallantry award," said the former director-general of the Canadian War Museum.

    "It will be a continuation of the past and it will be done in a Canadian context. I guess in a sense it's the capping of the Canadian honours system so I think it's a good thing."

    Government sources have told The Globe the medal will be presented to Prime Minister Stephen Harper by the Queen at the Vimy Ridge ceremony in recognition of the gallantry of the Unknown Soldier, whose remains rest in a tomb next to the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

    The soldier, whose body was exhumed from a cemetery near Vimy Ridge in 2000, was one of 1,603 unidentified Canadian troops who died in the First World War battle.

    The battle, which took place on April 9, 1917, is often considered a key moment in Canada's military history. Roughly 10,000 Canadians were wounded and 3,598 of those succumbed to their injuries.

    The ceremony in April will serve two purposes. It will commemorate the anniversary of the battle and serve as the dedication for the newly restored Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

    The Royal Canadian Legion has lobbied the government for years to reinstate the medal which was put aside in 1972 in favour of a Canadian honours system.

    The move to design and cast the medal in Canada should put an end to years of controversy over whether Canadian soldiers should receive an award that has British origins.

    The Canadian VC is awarded for "most conspicuous bravery, a daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy."

    There are few differences between the Canadian and British medals. The Canadian decoration can be revoked and it bears the Latin inscription Pro Valore rather than For Valour.

    The British medals are cast from bronze of Chinese origin that was used in Russian cannons captured at the conclusion of the Crimean War, but there is no word yet on what type of metal will be used to make the Canadian medals.
     
  2. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Interesting tidbit pB...
     
  3. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Sorry Pb I am more a traditionalist. If Canadian Soldiers had won the VC (British Award). Then that is exactly what they are awarded For Valour. I am unsure what you are trying to say here but can understand Canada like Australia having an Honour Award Medal system. In my own opinion gallantry awards like that of the Victoria Cross should not be politicized for any reasons. Stick with the original would be my opinion Pb. Or should I say neither your country or mine should ever deny a Veteran of the Medal he or she is entitled to Pb and bugger the politics mate
     
  4. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Where Canada is officially bilingual English and French, "Pro Valore" was decided upon to keep the Québecers happy.

    FYI, the VC has never been removed from the military's list. That nonsense about not allowing it for Canadians or some such bullshit was just more Chrétien crap, brought about in the last decade or so as far as I know. Short lived, I'm happy to see. I think Trudeau tried the idea back in the 70's, but no one took it seriously at the time.
     
  5. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    One question Skim? Where is the common sense in this mate? It alludes me that some boof heads wanted the VC not listed for Canadian Military
     
  6. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    No common sense involved there mate, just bad 'ole Canadian politics. Trudeau and Chrétien, both being French-Canadian, didn't give two sh*ts about our "English" traditions.
     
  7. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    So that is why that got arseholed eventually Skim. One thing I don't give a flying turkey **** for them either. are these French Canadians still pissed of about the Battle or Quebec or what Skim. They lost it to ****ing bad mate
     
  8. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Québecers ain't all bad. Not at all. Take our very own Maestro here on the forum for instance, he's a pretty cool dude. ;)

    I have a lot of buds from Québec in fact. Good fellas.
     
  9. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Bloody hell mate. Not judging all by the standards of a few. But as I said can't understand the Furore over the VC. To me its politicizing a Medal For Gallantry won by Veterans under combat conditions. Hell most VCs are won Posthemously are we now trying to be politically correct on awards won to DEAD SOLDIERS for the sake of politics. Hell **** the POLITICS AND LAMED ARSE POLITICANS mate. I maybe not a Canadian but an Aussie. But any one who wants to disband the VC for some lamed arsed political reason can go **** themselves on the rough end of a pineapple progressively mate.
     
  10. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    I'll bloody drink to that.:thumbleft:
     
  11. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Heres to all VC winners no matter where they are from. They deserve our respect now political bullshit. Talking of VC winners. There was a Kiwi who won the VC and Bar. He won the VC twice hence the Bar to his award. He was later to become a Minister of Religion in New Zealand. I believed he passed away about 2 years ago. Met Sir Roden Cutler some years ago with at least 400 other school kids. Met him from afar you might say. He won the VC in 1941 in Palistine fighting Vichy French. I remember the then Premier of New South Wales (Neviell Wran) his daughter Kim making some off hand remark about Sir Roden Cutler. She got skinned by the RSL for it and so she should the snobby bitch. Sir Roden was Govenor of NSW at the time and this half baked idiot makes some inane remarks about him Sir Roden lost his leg during the action. He was an artillery officer so the award was a one off due to his branch of service etc
     
  12. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    In my opinion any award is issued for what a guy did its country of origin is only important in that one nations citizens are showing their gratitude to anothers.
    To me recieving a medel that is not your sovereign countries would only add to the pride a recipiant should feel.
     
  13. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Ah, but that's the thing. QE II is our sovereign. That has never changed, and her likeness still adorns the medals of the Canadian system of honours and awards. So why the hell should we remove ourselves from the Victoria Cross? The VC has always been officially recognized as the highest award in the Canadian system anyway, in spite of what those fools in Ottawa say. Like I said, it has never, ever been striken from our list. As a matter of fact, we're still entitled to receive the Queen's Medal for Champion Shot as well. So personally, I don't understand what all the fuss in Ottawa is about.

    The Canadian system was first adopted in 1967, the centennial year of Confederation, to replace the British system that had still been used by the Canadian military up to that time. However, the Canadian medals are actually still based very closely on the British style for the most part. We're still very much a part of the Commonwealth, we still honour the Queen, and therefore we still honour our fine heritage and many traditional aspects of our past. We still hold regular exchanges with the British and Australian forces, like we've always done. The Victoria Cross is the Commonwealth's highest military award, so why oh why do so many folks out there simply think we'd remove ourselves "half-way" as it were from something like all of that? The "Pro Valore" thing not withstanding that is, which is...well...I dunno. :dontknow:

    Note that some of the awards on this chart are actually civilian awards. NATO and UN medals are included as well:
    CF Medals Chart - Honours and Awards - Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH)


    I tell ya boys, even by political standards, Canadian politics is enough to drive ya absolutely nuts. :lol:
     
  14. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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  15. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    I think it would be unlikely to see another Victoria Cross issued considering how rare the medal is after WW2. Just 4 recipients in Australia from Vietnam! And only 94 issued Worldwide and 60 issued to Australians! I really see it as unlikely as a lot of the conflicts today are more police actions than actual conflicts on a large scale...
     
  16. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    It's been awarded 1,356 times since it's creation. 94 of them have gone to Canadians. The last Canadian to receive it did so during WWII, and the last surviving Canadian recipient died in 2005.

    Also, the scale of the conflict isn't a factor in it's bestowment. A young Grenadian serving with the British Army in Iraq was awarded the VC in 2005.
     
  17. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Maybe not for New Zealanders but Australians Canadian and British Military could receive the VC for various actions in Afghanistan. VC isn't issued in a battle because the war is politically based war. If so then explain Vietnam yet Aussies won VCs there. So its likely Australians Canadians or British Soldiers could win a VC in Afghanistan given circumstances or even in Iraq. Remeber VC is awarded for valour not politics of warfare
     
  18. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    Ok, I just wondered about that part.
     
  19. ndicki

    ndicki Member

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    One of the best things about using the established - I will not say British, because it is not British - Commonwealth system of medals for valour, VC, DSO, MC, DFC, DFM, etc - is that because they have a history, people know what they mean in real terms. They know that if you have the DFC, for example, you've done something pretty unusually courageous, although they may well not know precisely what that was. On the other hand, with a new system, only time will tell, and a major war, what they mean to the public. Anybody know what sort of thing gets you the GCR? No, exactly.

    (Grand Cross of Rhodesia) (No, I don't know either)
     
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