The George Cross

The George Cross  is highest gallantry award for civilians, as well as for members of the armed forces in actions for which purely military honours would not normally be granted. Sometimes known as the Civilian Victoria Cross, it ranks after the VC in precedence. It was instituted on 24 September 1940 by King George VI. At this time, during the height of the Blitz, there was a strong desire to reward the many acts of civilian courage. The existing awards open to civilians were not judged suitable to meet the new situation, therefore it was decided that the George Cross and the George Medal would be instituted to recognise both civilian gallantry in the face of enemy action and brave deeds more generally.

The GC replaced the Medal of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for Gallantry aka Empire Gallantry Medal (EGM) and all holders of the EGM were obliged to exchange their medals for a GC, However, the substitution policy ignored holders of the Albert Medal (AM) and the Edward Medal (EM), both of which took precedence over the EGM. In 1971, when the surviving recipients of the AM and the EM became the George Cross,  recipients and were invited to exchange their medal for the George Cross. Of the 64 holders of the Albert Medal and 68 holders of the Edward Medal eligible to exchange, 49 and 59 respectively took up the option.

The GC has been awarded  411 times to individuals and two collective awards were made to Malta and the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

(Information from Victoriacrossonline)


The George Cross (GC)

Empire Gallantry Medal (EGM)
Edward Reynolds GC
Edward Reynolds GC
1917 – 14/12/1955
St Peters Churchyard, Harborne
RV Ellingworth GC 21/09/1940 Portsmouth Milton
Richard Vincent Ellingworth GC
28/01/1898 – 21/09/1940
Portsmouth Milton Cemetery
John Frederick Bell GC. Great Malvern Cemetery
John Frederick Bell GC.
1872 – 05/1950
Great Malvern Cemetery, Worcestershire.
RJ Knowlton GC. 24/08/1981 London Rd Cem, Salisbury
Richard John Knowlton AM.
11/05/1899 – 24/08/1981
London Road Cemetery, Salisbury
George Niven 1898 ? - 02/02/1947 YARDLEY CEMETERY, Yardley Cemetery, Yardley, Birmingham.
George Paterson Niven EGM
1898 ? – 02/02/1947
Yardley Cemetery, Yardley, Birmingham.
George Walter Inwood GC 22/09/1905 - 16/10/1940 Yardley Cemetery, Yardley
George Walter Inwood GC
22/09/1905 – 16/10/1940
Yardley Cemetery, Birmingham
Lt Cmdr RJH Ryan GC RN. 21/09/1940 Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery
 Richard John Ryan GC RN.
23/07/1903 – 21/09/1940
Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery
David Booker GC 19/10/1910 - 01/04/1982 Bloxwich Cemetery
David Booker EM
19/10/1910 – 01/04/1982
Bloxwich Cemetery
Samuel Booker GC 19/10/1910 - 12/1979 Bloxwich Cemetery
Samuel Booker EM
19/10/1910 – 12/1979
Bloxwich Cemetery
Robert Murray Kavanaugh AM 18/12/1906 - 12/09/1976 Field of Mars Cemetery, Ryde, NSW, Australia
Robert Murray Kavanaugh AM
18/12/1906 – 12/09/1976
Field of Mars Cemetery, Ryde, NSW, Australia 
Paul Douglas Robertson GC 1892 - 04/08/1975 Purewa Cemetery, Auckland, New Zealand
Paul Douglas Robertson GC
1892 – 04/08/1975
Purewa Cemetery, Auckland, New Zealand
Horace William Madden GC 14/02/1924 - 06/11/1951 UN military Cemetery, Busan, Korea
Horace William Madden GC
14/02/1924 – 06/11/1951
UN Military Cemetery, Busan, Korea
Alexander Fraser Campbell GC 02/05/1898 - 18/10/1940 London Road Cemetery, Coventry
Alexander Fraser Campbell GC
02/05/1898 – 18/10/1940
London Road Cemetery, Coventry
Michael Gibson GC 06/1906 - 18/10/1940 London Road Cemetery, Coventry
Michael Gibson GC
06/1906 – 18/10/1940
London Road Cemetery, Coventry
John Thomas Baker GC 14/04/1912 - 07/12/2000 Windmill Road Cemetery, Coventry.
John Thomas Baker EM
14/04/1912 – 07/12/2000
Windmill Road Cemetery, Coventry.
 
John Weller_GC 1889 -14/12/1978 Richmond Cemetery, Yorkshire
John Weller EM
1889 -14/12/1978
Richmond Cemetery, Yorkshire
Malta. GC.
Malta. GC.
Violette Szabo. GC. 26/06/1921 – 05/02/1945 SOE Memorial London.
Violette Szabo. GC.
26/06/1921 – 05/02/1945
SOE Memorial, Lambeth, London..
Civil Defence GC plaque National Memorial Arboretum
Civil Defence GC Recipients plaque
National Memorial Arboretum
Royal Ulster Constabulary GC Memorial. National Memorial Arboretum
Royal Ulster Constabulary GC Memorial.
National Memorial Arboretum
Donald Owen Clarke GC
05/03/1923-08/09/1942
Tower Hill Merchant Navy Memorial
   

© DRW 2008-2017. Created 13/05/2015. Removed captions and changed to paragraphs, linked to individual pages 15/03 -18/03/2017. Special thanks to Kevin Brazier and Mark Green. Photos of gravesites of John Frederick Bell, Horace Madden, Robert Kavanaugh, John Weller, Edward Reynolds, Paul D Roberston, Michael Gibson, John Thomas Baker, Alexander Fraser Campbell  and the Booker Brothers by Mark Green. All rights reserved.

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