GARY MEAD    Book Number: 86464    Product format: Hardback

A military historian's balanced account of the VC's life and times which 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 150 years. It is sub-titled 'The Untold Story of Britain's Highest Award for Bravery'. Born out of the squalor of the Crimean War in 1856 and the fragility of the monarchy at the time, the VC's prestige is such that it takes precedence over all other orders and medals in Britain. Yet no book until now has 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. When 25 year old Private Johnson Beharry won the Victoria Cross in 2005 for bravery under fire in Iraq, he was the first person to win Britain's highest military honour since the Falklands War in 1982, and the first living recipient since 1969, when two Australians were given the award for action in Vietnam. This highly revisionist, hard hitting book is highly controversial yet no one can deny the scholarship and deep research of this passionately argued account. The complex history and background is covered about how an award, originally a means of recognising exceptional individual gallantry, has almost imperceptibly become a potent political tool. 326pp, 15 photos including one of the courageous nurse taken prisoner by the Japanese in Singapore in 1941 and Ethel Grimwood, heroine of the Manipur Massacre in 1891, wearing the Royal Red Cross.
Published price: £25
Bibliophile price: £7.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9781843542698
Browse these categories as well: War & Militaria, Historical Biography

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