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Ministry Of Defence
Tuesday 2 November 2004 00:01

Ministry Of Defence (National)

MOD HONOURS VICTORIA CROSS AND GEORGE CROSS HOLDERS WITH PERMENANT MEMORIAL

Victoria Cross and George Cross recipients were honoured today when ministers unveiled Britain's first permanent memorial for military recipients at a dedication ceremony at MOD's HQ today.

The dedication service was led by the Deputy Chaplain General, John Whitton. Secretary of State Geoff Hoon Under Secretary of State Ivor Caplin and Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, Sir Anthony Bagnall were present to honour the bravery of Victoria Cross and George Cross recipients.

The memorial is at the heart of MOD's new Main Building and consists of an imposing bronze statue and stained glass window.

Mr Hoon, said:

"I am honoured to be here to mark the bravery and courage of recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross. It is right to remember their contribution with a memorial at the very centre of our military and civilian headquarters as a permanent reminder of the values we should all strive to uphold."

ENDS

1. There is a permanent memorial for all VC&GC recipients in Westminster Abbey. This memorial in MOD Main Building specifically commemorates military recipients.

2. The Victoria Cross and George Cross are the nation's highest awards for gallantry. The Victoria Cross was instituted in 1856 and the bronze crosses are cast from the metal of Russian guns seized during the Crimean campaign. It is awarded for most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.

3. The George Cross was instituted in 1940 to recognise actions of supreme gallantry in circumstances for which the Victoria Cross was not appropriate. Thus, it may be awarded to civilians, as well as members of the Armed Forces for acts of gallantry not in the presence of the enemy, including, for example, military explosive ordnance disposal personnel.

4. The art nouveau style stained glass window is 3 metres high and 1.6 metres wide. It was produced by a group of pensioners from Eastwood & Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire.

5. The ESCAPE Group of pensioners produces stained glass windows in order to provide opportunities for pensioners in Nottinghamshire to meet other people and develop new skills. The eldest member of the group is 90 and the youngest 71.

6. The statue was sculpted by Marcus Cornish.


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