Victoria Cross Review 1956

Queen Reviews Men of Valour, 1956.
British Pathé

For Valour

For the Victoria Cross centenary Queen Elizabeth II reviewed an assembly of 300 men who held the nation’s and Commonwealth’s highest honour – the Victoria Cross. The review, conducted at Hyde Park, London 26 June 1956 respected the first presentations of the awards by Queen Victoria when she presented 62 awards at Hyde Park.

At the same time as the review an exhibition was held 15 June – 7 July 1956 at Marlborough House featuring several Victoria Crosses, citations and souvenirs retained by those who received the bronze cross pattee synonymous with valour. Included in the exhibition was the uniform worn by Queen Victoria at the time of the original V.C. presentations.

Marlborough House, The Mall, St. James's, City of Westminster, London. (Wiki Image)

Marlborough House, The Mall, St. James’s, City of Westminster, London.
(Wiki Image)

Several Canadian Victoria Cross recipients participated representing conflicts from the Second Boer War (1899-1902), the Great War (1914-1918) and the Second World War (1939-1945). Those with connections to British Columbia included: Edward Bellew (7th Canadian Infantry Battalion), Rowland Bourke (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve), Robert Hanna (29th Canadian Infantry Battalion), John Kerr (49th Canadian Infantry Battalion), Filip Konowal (47th Canadian Infantry Battalion), John Mahoney (Westminster Regiment), Cecil Merritt (Saskatchewan Regiment), William Metcalf (16th Canadian Infantry Battalion), George Mullin (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry), George Pearkes (5th Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles), Cyrus Peck (16th Canadian Infantry Battalion), Ernest Smith (Seaforth Highlanders of Canada) and Charles Train (14th Battalion London Regiment).

One hundred recipients of the Victoria Cross were unable to attend the review.

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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