The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's)

'Sans Peur'       Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders red and white dicing       'Ne Obliviscaris'

The Victoria Cross - Background

The Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross
"for valour"
The Victoria Cross is the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy. It is awarded by the British monarch to British and Commonwealth forces.

Definition of Gallantry:
  1. the quality or state of being heroic
  2. the quality of mind enabling a person to face danger or hardship with resolution
  3. an act of bravery
  4. dashing courage
Definition of Valour:
  1. courage in the face of the enemy
  2. bravery in battle

To date (July 2007), in all branches of the British and Commonwealth forces, there have been 1352 VC medals awarded, but 3 men have won it twice, this makes a total of 1355. There have been 158 Scottish-born Victoria Cross recipients and it is believed that five of the first ten Victoria Crosses awarded went to Scottish soldiers.

The first recipient of the Victoria Cross was an Irishman, 20 year old Royal Navy mate, Lt Charles Davis Lucas. He was born in Drumargole, County Armagh, in 19 February 1834.

It was awarded to him in June 1854 for his action on board "HMS Hecla" while bombarding Bomarsund, a fort in the Aland Islands, Finland, during the Crimean War in the Baltic.

The Victoria Cross is not a Maltese Cross, but is more accurately described as a cross patté.

All Victoria Crosses are now issued with a 1.5 inch wide Crimson Ribbon. At one time they had dark blue ribbons for the Royal Navy and crimson for the Army. But, in 1918, at the time of formation of the Royal Air Force, King Edward approved that from that date a crimson ribbon would be used for all arms of the services.

The Cross is 1.375 inches wide and has a total weight of 0.87 ounces.

The front of the bar is adorned with laurel leaves and the back is engraved with the recipients details. The date of the act of valour is engraved in the centre circle. Details on the suspender bar include the number, rank, name and regiment, or other description of the recipient.

The Victoria Cross was designed by H.H. Armstead, an employee of the jewellers, Messrs. Hancocks and Co., Burlington Gardens London W1, who still supply them. The design of the Cross first received royal approval.

Originally, the metallic materials used in the construction of the Victoria Cross came from gunmetal taken from Russian guns captured in the Crimean War, but since the end of the First World War it has been made from metal taken from captured Chinese guns.

List of 16 soldiers of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders who have won the Victoria Cross

8 of these medals are on display in the Regimental Museum in Stirling Castle





Lance CorporalDUNLAY, John..... details ......16 November 1857Lucknow, India
CaptainSTEWART, William George Drummond..... details ......16 November 1857Lucknow, India
PrivateGRANT, Peter..... details ......16 November 1857Lucknow, India
PrivateMacKAY, David ..... details ......16 November 1857Lucknow, India
Colour SergeantMUNRO, James..... details ......16 November 1857Lucknow, India
SergeantPATON, John..... details ......16 November 1857Lucknow, India
Lieutenant & AdjutantMcBEAN, William..... details ......11 March 1858Lucknow, India
CaptainLIDDELL, John Aiden..... details ......31 July 1915La Panne, Belgium
LieutenantGRAHAM, John Reginald Noble..... details ......22 April 1917Istabulat, Mesopotamia
2nd LieutenantHENDERSON, Arthur, MC..... details ......23 April 1917Fontaine-les-Croiselles, France
2nd LieutenantBUCHAN, John Crawford..... details ......21 March 1918Marteville, France
LieutenantMacINTYRE, David Lowe..... details ......24-27 August 1918Henin, France
LieutenantBISSETT, William Davidson..... details ......25 October 1918Maing, France
Lieutenant ColonelCAMPBELL, Lorne MacLaine, DSO, OBE, TD ..... details ......6 April 1943Wadi Akarit, Tunisia
MajorANDERSON, John Thompson McKellar, DSO, TD..... details ......23 April 1943Longstop Hill, Tunisia
MajorMUIR, Kenneth (posthumous)..... details ......23 September 1950Hill 282, Songju, Korea

("ne obliviscaris")

Click to see a list of Scottish Victoria Cross recipients


Number of VC's Awarded

1856 - 1913 522
1914 - 1919 634 - including 2 bars
1920 - 1938 5
1939 - 1945 182 - including 1 bar
1946 - to date 12
Total Awarded (July 2007) 1355


Number of VC's Awarded

Fleet Air Arm
Royal Marines
Royal Navy
Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Naval Reserve
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
British Army 838 - including 2 bars
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Royal Auxiliary Air Force
Royal Flying Corps
Australian Forces 91
Canadian Forces 80
New Zealand Forces 22 - including 1 bar
South African Forces 28
Newfoundland Forces 1
Fijian Forces 1
King's African Rifles 1
Honourable East India Company
Indian Army
Civilians 4
American Unknown Warrior 1

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