In remembrance of Victoria Cross winners
Gerard Kilgallon
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The Victoria Cross is the highest award for gallantry that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces of any rank in any service and civilians under military command.

The original inscription on the cross was "FOR BRAVERY" but this was amended to "FOR VALOUR" on the recommendation of Queen Victoria who thought some might wrongly consider that only recipients were brave.

The VC was first issued on January 29, 1856, recognising acts of valour during the Crimean War of 1854-1855. All VCs are cast from the bronze of two Chinese cannon that were reputedly captured from the Russians at the siege of Sevastopol.

The medal takes the form of a Maltese Cross, bearing a crown surmounted by a lion, and the inscription. The ribbon is crimson.

Since its inception it has been awarded 1354 times. The largest number of VCs awarded in a single day was 24 on November 16, 1857 at the relief of Lucknow. The largest number awarded in a single action was at Rorke's Drift on January 22, 1879. Since the end of the Second World War the VC has only been awarded 11 times. The last two were awarded during the Falklands War in 1982. Only three people have been awarded the Victoria Cross twice, Noel Chavasse, Arthur Martin-Leake and New Zealander Charles Upham.

The VC has, exceptionally, been awarded to the American Unknown Soldier (the reciprocal award of the US Medal of Honor being made to the British Unknown Warrior).

This is my first geek list and frankly I cannot think of a better subject. Thanks to Joe Scoleri for the inspiration to create the list.
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1. Board Game: To the Green Fields Beyond [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:4398]
Gerard Kilgallon
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Noel Godfrey Chavasse, one of three people to recieve the medal twice...

During the First World War, Chavasse was a captain with the Royal Army Medical Corps, British Army attached to the 1/10th Battalion of The King's (Liverpool Regiment)..

Chavasse's first award was for his actions on August 9, 1916, at Guillemont, France when he attended to the wounded all day under heavy fire, frequently in view of the enemy, and during the night he continued searching for wounded in front of the enemy's lines. Next day, under heavy shell fire he and a stretcher bearer carried an urgent case 500 yards to safety, being wounded himself during the journey. The same night, with 20 volunteers, he rescued three wounded men from a shell-hole 36 yards from enemy trenches, buried the bodies of two officers and collected many identity discs. Altogether he saved the lives of some 20 wounded men.

Chavasse's second award was made during the period July 31 to August 2, 1917, at Wieltje, Belgium. Captain Chavasse, although severely wounded early in the action while carrying a wounded officer to the dressing station, refused to leave his post and in addition to his normal duties, went out repeatedly under heavy fire to attend the wounded. During this time, although practically without food, worn with fatigue and faint from his wound, he helped to carry in badly wounded men, being instrumental in saving many who would otherwise have died under the bad weather conditions. Captain Chavasse died of his wounds.
 
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2. Board Game: Jutland [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:3291]
Gerard Kilgallon
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On 31 May 1916, at the Battle of Jutland, off Denmark, Boy First Class Cornwell, of HMS Chester...

As HMS Chester hurtled out of the mist at 29 knots, there just ahead were 4 German Cruisers. She began heeling immediately to port so that her broadside armament could bear, and opened fire.
HMS Chester fought gallantly but was no match for the combined firepower of 4 enemy cruisers, and subsequently took severe punishment. In all, she was hit seventeen times by major calibre shells. Four of these impacted around the gun turret that was Jack's position. The ship was reduced to a shambles, only one gun being operational. All around Jack, men were laid dying and horribly mutilated by shrapnel, he himself had felt the red hot shard of steel penetrate his chest. With grim determination he stood fast to his post, patiently awaiting orders from the control tower, as the cauldron exploded around him. Jack did not know it, but he was mortally wounded. He remained standing alone at his station, until Admiral Hood's Dreadnought's appeared, their heavy guns allowing Chester to disengage. Medics then were able to go to Jack's aid and take him below.

Chester was incapable of further action and was ordered post haste to the Humber and the port of Immingham, Jack was rushed to Grimsby General Hospital and was attended by Admiralty Surgeon, Dr. C.S.Stephenson, but sadly to no avail.

Dr. Stevenson found the boy to be wonderfully brave when told that nothing could be done for him. The Matron asked him how it had been and he replied, we carried on O.K. Later just before he died he said to her, Give my love to my Mother, I know she is on her way here. He died on June 2nd. 1916, at 16 years of age.
 
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3. Board Game: Storm over Arnhem [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:1559]
Gerard Kilgallon
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Flight Lieutenant David Samuel Anthony Lord...

On 19 September 1944 at Arnhem, Holland, the British 1st Airborne Division were in desperate need of supplies. Flight Lieutenant Lord, flying a Dakota through intense enemy anti-aircraft fire, was twice hit, and had one engine burning. He managed to drop his supplies, but at the end of the run found that there were two containers remaining. Although he knew that one of his wings might collapse at any moment he nevertheless made a second run to drop the last supplies, then ordered his crew to bale out. A few seconds later the Dakota crashed in flames with its pilot.
 
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4. Board Game: Zulu: Rorke's Drift [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Gerard Kilgallon
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Rorke's Drift was a mission station in Natal, South Africa. The defense of Rorke's Drift (January 22 - 23 1879) during the Anglo-Zulu War, immediately followed the British Army's humiliating defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana earlier in the day. At Rorke's Drift approximately 150 British soldiers defended their garrison against an intense assault by roughly 5000 Zulu warriors. In the ensuing action, eleven Victoria Crosses were won, the largest number of VCs awarded during a single action in British military history...

* William Wilson Allen
* Gonville Bromhead
* John Rouse Merriott Chard
* James Langley Dalton
* Frederick Hitch
* Alfred Henry Hook
* Robert Jones
* William Jones
* James Henry Reynolds
* Ferdnand Christian Schiess
* John Williams
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5. Board Game: Crimea [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:8218]
Gerard Kilgallon
England
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James Mouat, Battle of Balaklava, 1854...

James Mouat was born on 14 April 1815, at Chatham, Kent, the son of Surgeon James Mouat MD who was medical officer to the 23rd, 25th, 21st, 16th,13th, F., 4th and 15th Dragoons. His uncle was Dr F.J. Mouat distinguished in the Indian Civil Medical Service. James Mouat, the son, was educated at University College Hospital, London, became MRCS in 1837, and proceeded FRCS in 1852. One year after qualification he joined the 44th Regiment of Foot as Assistant Surgeon. Ten years later he was promoted Surgeon and served throughout the Crimean Campaign with the 6th Dragoons, where he was also in charge of the General Field Hospital of the 3rd Division. He was present at the Fall of Sebastopol, the Battles of Tehernaya and Inkerman, and at the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava his gallantry resulted in the award of the Victoria Cross:

"Date of act of Bravery: 26th Oct 1854. For having voluntarily proceeded to the assistance of Lieut. Colonel Morris, C>B, 17th Lancers, who was lying dangerously wounded in an exposed position after the retreat of Light Cavalry at the Battle of Balaklava, and having dressed the officer's wounds in the presence and under a heavy fire of the enemy. Thus by stopping a severe haemorrhage, he assisted in saving that officer's life".

During the campaign Surgeon Mouat was appointed to the French Legion of Honour, and gained the Crimean Medal with three clasps. In 1855 he was promoted Surgeon Major, and a year later was appointed a Commander of the Order of the Bath.
 
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6. Board Game: Port Stanley: Battle for the Falklands [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:9430]
Gerard Kilgallon
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Sergeant McKay, 3rd Bn., The Parachute Regiment, Mount Longdon...

During the war on the Falkland Islands on 12th June 1982, Sergeant McKay, his commander having been wounded in the leg, was in command of the platoon. Heavy enemy fire kept them pinned down and several of his men had been either killed or wounded. Realising that something must be done, Sergeant McKay took three men and, breaking cover, they charged the enemy. They were met by strong enemy fire, killing a private and wounding the corporal another private. Single-handed, disregarding his own safety, he charged the enemy position . Using grenades, he disposed of the enemy, but at the point of his success, he was killed. This gallant action allowed his beleaguered comrades to eradicate themselves from an extremely dangerous situation. .
 
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7. Board Game: Vietnam 1965-1975 [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1749]
Gerard Kilgallon
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Kevin Arthur Wheatley was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross in the Vietnam War...

On 13th November 1965 at approximately 1300 hours, a Vietnamese Civil Irregular Defence Group company commenced a search and destroy operation in the Tra Bong valley, 15 kilometres east of Tra Bong Special Forces camp in Quang Ngai Province. Accompanying the force were Captain F. Fazekas, senior Australian Advisor, with the centre platoon, and Warrant Officers K. A. Wheatley and R. J. Swanton with the right hand platoon. At about 1340 hours, Warrant Officer Wheatley reported contact with Viet Cong elements. The Viet Cong resistance increased in strength until finally Warrant Officer Wheatley asked for assistance. Captain Fazekas immediately organised the centre platoon to help and personally led and fought towards the action area. While moving towards this area he received another radio message from Warrant Officer Wheatley to say that Warrant Officer Swanton had been hit in the chest, and requested an air strike and an aircraft, for the evacuation of casualties. At about this time the right platoon broke in the face of heavy Viet Cong fire and began to scatter. Although told by the Civil Irregular Defence Group medical assistant that Warrant Officer Swanton was dying, Warrant Officer Wheatley refused to abandon him. He discarded his radio to enable him to half drag, half carry Warrant Officer Swanton, under heavy machine-gun and automatic rifle fire, out of the open rice paddies into the comparative safety of a wooded area, some 200 metres away. He was assisted by a Civil Irregular Defence Group member, Private Dinh Do who, when the Viet Cong were only some ten metres away, urged him to leave his dying comrade. Again he refused, and was seen to pull the pins from two grenades and calmly awaited the Viet Cong, holding one grenade in each hand. Shortly afterwards, two grenade explosions were heard, followed by several bursts of small arms fire. The two bodies were found at first light next morning after the fighting had ceased, with Warrant Officer Wheatley lying beside Warrant Officer Swanton. Both had died of gunshot wounds.

Warrant Officer Wheatley displayed magnificent courage in the face of an overwhelming Viet Cong force which was later estimated at more than a company. He had the clear choice of abandoning a wounded comrade and saving himself by escaping through the dense timber or of staying with Warrant Officer Swanton and thereby facing certain death. He deliberately chose the latter course. His acts of heroism, determination and unflinching loyalty in the face of the enemy will always stand as examples of the true meaning of valour.
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8. Board Game: The Italian Campaign: Salerno [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:12506]
Gerard Kilgallon
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Peter Harold Wright, Salerno 1943...

he was 27 years old, and a Company Sergeant-Major in the 3rd Bn., Coldstream Guards, British Army during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 25 September 1943 near Salerno, Italy, a steep, wooded hill was being assaulted by the 3rd Bn. Coldstream Guards, and Company Sergeant-Major Wright's company, most of its officers killed, was held up near the crest. Sergeant-Major Wright took charge and single-handed he silenced with grenades and bayonet three Spandau posts and then led his men to consolidate the position. He then beat off a counter-attack, and disregarding the heavy fire, brought up extra ammunition.
 
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9. Board Game: Descent on Crete [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:10885]
Gerard Kilgallon
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Captain Charles Hazlitt Upham VC and bar, New Zealand...

In March 1941 his battalion left for Greece and then withdrew to Crete, and it was here, as a Second Lieutenant, that he was wounded in the action in which he gained his first Victoria Cross.

The Victoria Cross was received for his actions from May 22, 1941 until May 30, 1941.

He displayed outstanding gallantry in close-quarter fighting, when blown up by two mortar shells and badly wounded. In spite of this and an attack of dysentery which reduced him to a skeletal appearance, he refused hospital treatment and carried a badly wounded man to safety when forced to retire. Eight days later he beat off an attack at Sphakia, 22 Germans falling to his accurate fire.
 
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10. Board Game: El Alamein [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:11383]
Gerard Kilgallon
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Captain Charles Hazlitt Upham VC and bar, New Zealand...

Upham was evacuated to Egypt. Now promoted to the rank of Captain. He received the bar for his actions on July 14, 1941 and July 15, 1941.

When leading his company attacking an enemy held ridge overlooking the El Alamein battlefield, he was wounded twice but took the objective after fierce fighting. He personally destroyed a German tank, several guns and vehicles with grenades. Upham was shot through the elbow with a machine gun bullet and had his arm shattered, he went on again to a forward position and brought back some of his men who had become isolated.

After his wounds were dressed, he returned to his men but was again severely wounded and unable to move. He was eventually overrun by the superior weight of the enemy forces and taken as a prisoner of war.
 
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11. Board Game: Escape from Colditz [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1435]
Gerard Kilgallon
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Captain Charles Hazlitt Upham VC and bar, New Zealand...

After being captured by the Germans, he was sent to an Italian Hospital to recuperate. During captivity he attempted to escape numerous times before being branded "dangerous" by the Germans and incarcerated in the infamous prison fortress Colditz castle.
 
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12. Board Game: Dambusters [Average Rating:5.79 Unranked]
Gerard Kilgallon
England
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Wing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson, Dambusters 1943...

Wing Commander Gibson, whose personal courage knew no bounds, was quickly recognised to be an outstanding operational pilot and leader. He served with conspicuously successful results as a night bomber pilot and also as a night fighter pilot, on operational tours. In addition, on his "rest" nights he made single-handed attacks on highly defended objectives such as the German battleship Tirpitz. Wing Commander Gibson was then selected to command a squadron formed for special tasks. Under his inspiring leadership this squadron executed one of the most devastating attacks of the war - the breaching of the Moehne and Eder dams. Wing Commander Gibson personally made the initial attack on the Moehne dam. Descending to within a few feet of the water, he delivered his attack with great accuracy. He then circled very low for thirty minutes, drawing the enemy fire and permitting as free a run as possible to the following aircraft. He repeated these tactics in the attack on the Eder dam. Throughout his operational career, prolonged exceptionally at his own request, he has shown leadership, determination and valour of the highest order.
 
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13. Board Game: The Second Boer War [Average Rating:6.70 Unranked]
Gerard Kilgallon
England
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Arthur Martin-Leake, the Boer War & WWI...

While serving with the South African Constabulary during the Boer War 1899-1902, Surgeon-Captain Arthur Martin-Leake received the VC for devotion to duty and self-sacrifice on February 8,1902, when he went forward under intense fire from 40 Boer riflemen, less than 100 yards distant, to dress the wounds of a man. The action occurred at Vlakfontein in the Transvaal, where a major engagement had been fought the previous year.

At the outbreak of the First World War, Martin-Leake was a doctor with the Indian Railways. Fearing that, at the age of 40, he would not be accepted for military service, he made his way to Paris and enlisted at the British Consulate before attaching himself to the first medical unit he could find - the 5th Field Ambulance. He was just in time for the First Battle of Ypres, at the centre of which seven British divisions were outnumbered two to one in the German offensive on the Western Front in the last days of October 1914. Throughout the baffle, Martin-Leake again displayed conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. He was personally responsible for the rescue of many British wounded lying close to the enemy positions. He received a Bar to his Victoria Cross, becoming the first man to be so honoured.
 
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14. Board Game: The Indian Mutiny [Average Rating:5.40 Overall Rank:13256]
Gerard Kilgallon
England
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Hastings Edward Harington, Lucknow 1857...

was a member of the Bengal Artillery. During the Indian Mutiny he was severely wounded at Trimmoo Ghat. He was present throughout the Siege of Delhi, and after the fall of the city he proceed with the Grethed's column towards Cawnpore taking an active part in the engagements at Maligurh Fort, Allygurh and Agra. He was present at the relief of the garrison at Lucknow, where his distinguished courage gained him the Victoria Cross, for which he was elected by the vote of his brother officers. During these operations he was most dangerously wounded.

He was afterwards present at the siege and capture of Lucknow and joined in the pursuit of the rebels towards Rohileund until he was severely wounded at Rooyah. This last wound compelled him to go to the Himalayas to recover his health; but deriving only temporary relief and still being troubled by a bullet which remained in his back, he was obliged to return to England and after undergoing a painful operation the bullet was extracted. His health being partially restored he returned to his duty in October 1860. Shortly after his arrival in India he proceeded on service with the Sikkim Field Force and was afterwards appointed adjutant 6th Battalion Bengal Artillery at Agra where he died from cholera on July 20.


 
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15. Board Game: World War I [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:3382]
Gerard Kilgallon
England
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Joergen Christian Jensen VC was a Danish recipient of the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

His citation reads:

On April 2, 1917 at Noreuil, France, Private Jensen, with five comrades, attacked a barricade behind which were about 45 of the enemy and a machine-gun. One of the party shot the gunner and Private Jensen rushed the post and threw in a bomb. Then, with a bomb in each hand, he threatened the rest and made them surrender. He sent one of his prisoners to another group of the enemy, ordering them to surrender, which they did, but our troops began firing on them, whereupon Private Jensen, regardless of danger, stood on the barricade waving his helmet, and the firing stopped. He then sent his prisoners back to our lines.
 
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16. Board Game: Khyber Rifles [Average Rating:4.87 Unranked]
Gerard Kilgallon
England
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James William Adams was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross for actions during the Second Afghan War 1878 - 1880...

He was 40 years old, and a Reverend in the Bengal Ecclesiastical Department, British Indian Army during the Second Afghan War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 11 December 1879 at Killa Kazi, Afghanistan, some men of the 9th Lancers had fallen, with their horses, into a wide, deep ditch and the enemy were close upon them. The Reverend J.W. Adams rushed into the water, dragged the horses off the men, upon whom they were lying, and extricated them. All this time he was under very heavy fire and up to his waist in water. Some of the enemy were within a few yards of him and, having let his own horse go in order to render more effectual assistance, Mr Adams had to escape on foot.
 
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17. Board Game: Wings of War: Famous Aces [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:787] [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked]
Gerard Kilgallon
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Lt.-Col. William Barker was a Canadian WWI fighter ace...

On day 10, Sunday, October 27th, 1918, while delivering his Snipe to an aircraft depot, he crossed enemy lines at 21,000 feet above the Foret de Mormal. He attacked an enemy two-seater which broke up, its crew escaping by parachute. By his own admission he was careless and was then bounced by a formation of Fokker DVIIs. In a descending battle against 15 or more enemy machines, Barker was three times wounded in the legs, then his left elbow was blown away, yet he managed to control his Snipe and shoot down or drive down three more enemy aircraft. The dogfight took place immediately above the lines of the Canadian Corps and it is estimated 100,000 watched the latter stage of his aerial battle from the ground. Severely wounded and bleeding to death, his life was saved by the men of an RAF Kite Balloon Section, who got him to a field dressing station.

Andrea Angiolino informs me that in his "Wings of War - Famous Aces" game they have William Barker's Sopwith Camel #B6313.
 
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