The Great War Part 186, March 9th 1918

W A TC HING British official photo graph .FROM ASAP -HEAD .“FOR VALOUR” :HEROES OF THE VICTORIA CROSS IN THE THIRD YEAR OF THE WAR. Statistic alAn a ly sis o f the Number o f V .C.s Awarded in the Third Year o l the War—T en Awarded to the Navy Five to the Air Service Thirty to oMen f the Oversea D om in ions Three to the .CR.A.M .and to the Artillery Two to the Cavalry and to Indian Regiments One to the Royal Engineers and the C h a plains Department Eighty -eight to Regiments o f the Line— Boy Corn welland Commander L o ftu s Jones a t the Battle o f J u tla nd— L ieu te nan t L eefe Robin son and Captain Albert Ball— A u stra lia n Heroes o f G allip o li and Elsewhere— N ew Z ealan d and South African V .C.s— Eight Canadians Win the Cross— Cap ta inCh avasse— Lieu ten an t-C olon el Camp bell o f the Cold stream Guard s—P riv ate Jones o f the Cheshircs Sin gle-h an ded Takes One Hundred and Two Prisoners— T h e Six V .C.s Won b they York shire Regimen nat—L cash ire Fusiliers L iverp o o ls Sand eafo rth Highlanders Each Win Four Crosses— East York shire South Wales B ord erers South L an cash ires and Durham L ig h tIn fan try Each Win Three— PrivateR cad itt “the Stripling Who Stood U atop Whole Army ”—Fifteen Regiments Win Two Crosses E a c h—T h e Regiments th a tEach W o nOne Victoria Cross. jN writing the story of the deeds of exceptional bravery that were rewarded with the Victoria Cross during the third year of the war the chronicler finds himself confronted by a fact that is at once a difficulty and a simplification of his task. This is that— for some reason not readily intelligible to the layman, but which he accepted loyally as being valid on military grounds— the official intimation of the award published in the “Gazette ”omitted in the great majority of instances, the name of the place and the date where and when the conspicuous deed was performed. Although it was possible to make a shrewd and almost certainly accurate guess at the facts suppressed and although in a few instances the military authorities acquiesced without protest in the early disclosure of them by war corre­spondents and others loyalty to authority requires the compiler of the present record to refrain from using knowledge which is not verifiable from the “Gazette” or from other contemporary publications. As a result it is not open to him to group the stirring stories in a series of general sketches of particular battles or coherent military operations which obviously would have given him op­portunity for picturesque treatment. Nor is it open to liim to deal with them in chronological order another method which has its peculiar advantages. He is compelled to adopt a plan of arrange­ment more proper to the auctioneer’s catalogue than to a history and to allocate the space at his disposal first to the three Services— the Navy the Army and the Air Service and then to subdivide that devoted to the second rev. w .r.f .category between the various arms Chaplain to of that Service and the various regiments of each arm. These then are the broad lines upon which this chapter is planned. A few other prefatory remarks are desirable, relating to the number of Victoria Crosses awarded to different branches of the Empires huge fighting force, and accounting for the slight variation here made in the main plan. Between August 4th 1916 and August 3rd, 1917 one hundred and forty-five officers and men of the three Services were awarded the Victoria Cross— in not a few instances it is to be noted for deeds performed in the second year of the war. This total of a hundred and forty-five is nearly as great as the combined totals of the first and second years which were eighty-three and seventy- eight respectively. The fact is worth mentioning but it has no utility for the doubtfully profitable task of comparative criticism. If on the one hand the number of crosses awarded in the third year was nearly double the number awarded in the second the number of men eligible for the distinction by being on active service was also very much larger. If on the other hand the total number awarded during the third year seems small in proportion to the vast Army engaged it only proves that the high value of the distinction was jealously maintained. The King himself said in a message to his troops after one of the visits he paid to them in France that he could not decorate them all though all deserved it. The heroes to whom he did award the supreme honour of the Victoria Cross were only first among their equals as they themselves declared on more than one occasion. Ten crosses were awarded to the Navy and the stories of the deeds that KKKK 601 ADDISON ,the Forces.
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