Instituted: January 1856
Description: A cross pattee. (Obverse) a lion statant gardant on the royal crown, with the words FOR VALOUR on a semi circular scroll. (Reverse) a circular panel. The cross is suspended by a ring from a seriffed 'V' attached to a suspension bar decorated with laurel leaves.
Comments: Introduced as the premier award for gallantry the Victoria Cross is available to all ranks, to cover all actions since the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854. Of the 1,354 awards given since 1856, 832 have go to the army, 107 to the Royal Navy, 31 to the Royal Air force, 10 to the Royal Marines and 4 to civilians.