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.
A bar is awarded for additional acts of bravery. Only 3 have been awarded,
none to a Canadian.
A cross pattee, 1.375 inches across, with a dark brown finish. Made from cannons
captured from the Russians during the Crimean War.
The obverse displays the Royal Crown surmounted by a lion guardant. Below
the crown, a scroll bearing the inscription: FOR VALOUR.
Raised edges with the date of the act engraved within a raised circle.
A straight bar (ornamented with laurels), slotted for the ribbon, has a V-lug
below. A small link joins the V-lug to a semi-circular lug on the top of the
The crimson ribbon is 1.5 inches wide and a miniature cross is worn on the
ribbon in undress. The ribbon was dark blue for naval recipients until 1918
with Able Seaman William HALL, RN, being the only Canadian VC recipient to wear
the blue ribbon.
The recipient's rank, name and regiment are engraved on the reverse of the
The medal was instituted on 05 February 1856 with awards retroactive to 1854.
The first award to a Canadian was in February 1857, to Lt. Alexander DUNN
(Charge of the Light Brigade).
There have been 1,351 Victoria Crosses and 3 Bars awarded worldwide, 94 to
Canadians (Canadian-born or serving in the Canadian Army or with a close connection