The Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross (VC) was created by Queen Victoria in 1856 to be awarded to all ranks for bravery in the face of the enemy. It was preceded by the Distinguished Conduct Medal (1854) and the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (1855). The VC has always been cast from the gunmetal of captured cannons held in secrecy in London. It remains the highest Commonwealth award for valour. Since 1856 additional Imperial and Australian awards have been created and over time the VC has come to acknowledge only the most extraordinary and conspicuous displays of courage, self-sacrifice and extreme devotion to duty.

The Victoria Cross for Australia, awarded to Australia’s two most recent recipients, was introduced on 15 January 1991. It is identical to the earlier Imperial VC and is cast from the same gunmetal. The new award is conferred by the Governor General of Australia with the approval of the Monarch.

To date 100 Australians have received the VC for bravery in the following conflicts.

  • Boer War (1899-1902) six awarded
  • First World War (1914-18) sixty-four awarded
  • North Russia (1919) two awarded
  • Second World War (1939-45) twenty awarded
  • Vietnam War (1962-72) four awarded
  • Afghanistan (2003 - ) four awarded

For more information on the Victoria Cross and recipients visit It's an Honour website

Captain Robert Grieve's Victoria Cross is on display in the Galleries of Remembrance

Read more about the Shrine's permanent Gallery of Medals display:


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