The Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross (VC) was first awarded in 1856. It is the highest military award that can be bestowed and is for valour in the face of the enemy. It is now rarely awarded and is usually posthumous - the only exception since the Korean War being Private Johnson Beharry who was nursed back to health in Selly Oak Hospital.

The George Cross

The George Cross (GC) was intended as the "civilian" equivalent of the Victoria Cross. It was introduced in 1940 and replaced the Empire Gallantry Medal and then later the Albert and Edward Medals. Holders of these superseded awards were invited to swap their awards for the George Cross. It too is now rarely awarded and usually now goes to the police or the armed forces operating not in the face of the enemy.

Medal List

Thirty men from Birmingham have been awarded one of these medals 

The Birmingham Victoria Cross

James Cooper (1840-1882) Andaman Islands 1867.
Samuel Wassall (1856-1927) Isandhlwana 1879.
William Jones (1839-1913) Rorke’s Drift 1879.
George Ravenhill (1872-1921) Colenso 1899.
Charles Parker (1870-1918) Korn Spruit 1900.
Herbert James (1888-1958) Gallipoli 1915.
Arthur Vickers (1882-1944) Loos 1915.
Albert Gill (1879-1916) Somme 1916.
Thomas Turrall (1885-1964) Somme 1916.
Alfred Knight (1888-1960) Ypres 1917.
William Amey (1881-1940) Landrecies 1918.
Harold Colley (1894-1918) Martinpuich 1918.
Norman Finch (1890-1966) Zeebrugge 1918.
Alan Jerrard (1897-1968) Mansue 1918.
James Neville Marshall (1887-1918) Sambre-Oise 1918.
George Onions (1883-1944) Achiet-Le-Petitiet 1918.
Arnold Santo Waters (1886-1981) Sambre-Oise 1918.
Alfred Wilcox (1884-1954) Laventie 1918.
William Savage (1912-1942) St Nazaire 1942.
Henry Bowreman Foote (1904-1993) El Alamein 1942.
John Patrick Kenneally (1921-2000) Tunis 1943.

Amey, Marshall and Waters were all on the same day.

The Birmingham George Cross

Thomas Frank Miller (1887-1974) Nilambar 1921.
Reginald Cubitt Graveley (1914-1961) France 1939.
George Inwood (1906-1940) Bishop Street 1940.
William Mosedale (1894-1971) Grantham Street 1940.
Edward Womersley Reynolds (1917-1955) Weston/Bristol 1940.
John Bryan Peter Miller (1903-1994) London 1941.
Richard Arthur Bywater (1913-2005) Kirkby 1944.
William Waterson (1904-1971) GEC Witton 1945.
Charles Wilcox (1919-2006) Margaret Street 1949.

Thomas Miller was originally awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal and Charles Wilcox the Edward Medal. Both were later converted to the George Cross.