Thursday, 31 May 2012

Ahead of Diamond Jubilee: The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall met 28 living VCs and GCs

As the world prepares for the Diamond Jubilee, all 28 living holders of the Victoria Cross or the George Cross – the highest accolades for bravery in the Commonwealth – have been invited to London as guests of honour.

The Prince of Wales, President of The Victoria Cross and George Cross Association, and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a Victoria Cross and George Cross Association tea party at the In & Out, 4 St James's Square, London.

Pictured with Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla are:
BACK ROW Barry Johnson GC – critically injured after tackling a set of mortar bombs next to a hospital in Derry in October 1989.
Michael Pratt GC – police duty, Melbourne Australia, 1976.
Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC – the Australian became the association’s newest member after fighting off heavily armed insurgents in Afghanistan in 2006.
Kim Hughes GC – defused seven improvised explosive devices, three with his bare hands, in Afghanistan.
Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry VC – twice saved the lives of countless colleagues while under fire in 2004.
Lance Corporal Matt Croucher GC – threw himself on an exploding grenade to save his comrades in Afghanistan in 2008.
Jack Bamford GC – rescued brothers from a fire at the age of 15 in 1952.
Alfred Lowe GC – Royal Navy, 1948.

MIDDLE ROW Bill Speakman VC – fought off enemy fire in the Korean War in 1951 by throwing stones, shoes and beer bottles.
Henry Flintoff GC – rescued a farmer from a bull at the age of 13 in 1944.
Jim MacDonald – representing the Royal Ulster Constabulary (GC).
Awang Anak Raweng GC – Army scout, Malaya 1951.
Keith Payne VC – saved the lives of soldiers under his command in Vietnam in 1969.
Margaret Purves GC – rescued scout and leader from the sea at the age of 14 in South Wales in 1949. Joseph Zammit Tabona – representing Malta (GC)

FRONT ROW Stuart Archer – bomb disposal, South Wales, 1940.
Henry Stevens GC – police duty, Kent, 1958.
James Beaton – royal protection officer who foiled attempted kidnap of Princess Anne, 1974.
Captain Rambahadur Limbu VC – Gurkha, Indonesia 1965.
Tony Gledhill GC – police duty, London, 1966.
Major Peter Norton GC – supervised a major bomb disposal operation in Iraq in 2005 despite having suffered dreadful injuries.

SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson (to the left of the Queen) received the Victoria Cross in 2009, but was not present at Prince Charles' receiption. The photo shows Michael Pratt GC, Mark Donaldson VC and Keith Payne VC, at a reception for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association on 10th November 2010.

 Australian Keith Payne VC, who won his VC in Vietnam in 1969, accepted the Diamond Jubilee medal from Prince Charles.

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