HEROES: Above & Beyond Duty

Of varying sizes, shapes, shades and significance are the medals with which nations honor their military heroes, living and dead. No. 1 Medal of the British Empire is the bronze, red-ribboned Victoria Cross, bearing the Royal Crest and the inscription FOR VALOUR. Since the close of the Crimean War in 1856, 1,155 persons have won it "for some signal act of valour or devotion . . . in the presence of the enemy." During the World War, when other medals were being passed out with feverish generosity, the V.C. went to only...

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