Eight Victoria Crosses to be on display for Remembrance

Published on: Tue, 30/10/2018 - 10:03

Victoria Cross

Something very special is due to happen at Lichfield Cathedral on Remembrance Sunday (November 11th).

During the 10am service eight Victoria Crosses awarded to soldiers from Staffordshire will be brought into the cathedral and placed on a drum head altar to be the centre of our remembering. These are significant symbols of the human cost of war and behind each one is the story of an individual human being.

The presence of the medals will help the congregation, drawn from the military services, civilian services, uniformed youth organisations, our wider community, the religious communities and civic representatives, in their remembering.

Following the service the medals will be on display in the cathedral chapter house from 12.30 to 2.30pm.

The Canon Precentor of Lichfield Cathedral, Canon Andrew Stead said:

“To have eight Victoria Crosses in one place at one time is very special thing.  We are indebted to the Staffordshire Regiment Museum and the Mercian Regiment for their cooperation and support in making this possible.   

These awards are significant in terms of personal courage as well as being a nation’s tribute to those who were awarded them for acts of gallantry.”

The Victoria Cross was introduced in 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then, the medal has been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individual recipients.

They acknowledge the personal cost of a nation being at war - a cost borne by not only the individual but by their families, friends and communities.

One of the medals featured at the service was awarded to Lance Corporal Harold Coltman on October the 4th 1918. His grandson John Coltman commented; “My Grandfather is now the most highly decorated Other Rank soldier in the British Army. I am delighted that this medal is being put on display, that people should be reminded of the cost of war.”