Guide Victoria’s Cross: The Untold Story of Britain’s Highest Award for Bravery

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Born in and having spent some time growing up in an orphanage, Tandey would enlist in the Green Howards Regiment of the British Army in When war broke out in Europe, he would immediately find himself in the action. He participated in the Battle of Ypres in and was subsequently wounded at the Battle of the Somme in After a recovery in the hospital, we was later assigned to 3 rd Battalion in May of He was later wounded yet again during the Battle of Passchendaele in November of that year before returning to duty in January of And while he undoubtedly fought honorably during the prior four years, it would seem that was the year he was marked for exceptional bravery and conspicuous gallantry.

He came back with 20 German prisoners and was awarded the Distinguished Combat Medal as a result. Later in September, he participated in an attack at Havrincourt where he would once again brave heavy fire to bomb German trenches and return with more prisoners.

Queen hosts reception for Victoria Cross heroes

For this action, he was awarded the Military Medal. On September 28 th , he was involved in another action at a canal near Marcoing, France when his platoon began to receive heavy machine gun fire.

Tandey took a Lewis gun team, crawled forward under the fire and took out the German position. Once he reached the canal, he helped restore a plank bridge under intense enemy fire.

Victoria Cross - Wikipedia

Born out of the squalor of the Crimean War in and the fragility of the monarchy at that time, the VC's prestige is such that it takes precedence over all other orders and medals in Britain. But while many books have been written about specific aspects of the VC and its recipients, none have asked why so many brave men who deserved the medal were denied it, and why no women have ever been awarded the VC, even though they are entitled.

Military historian Gary Mead's vivid and balanced account of the VC's life and times exposes the hypocrisy behind one of the UK's last sacred cows, and explores its role as a barometer for the shifting sands of political and social change during the last years.

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