Tara Finn

First World War Centenary Commemorations Team

Part of Digital Diplomacy Remembering WW1 Victoria Cross Heroes

20th June 2016

Launching the digital archive

We have launched a remarkable collection of stories from the First World War. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is remembering the stories of 175 men from 11 countries who were awarded Britain’s highest award for bravery, the Victoria Cross. They represent a significant number of the 600 Victoria Crosses awarded during the First World War and in June 2014, we gifted bronze memorial plaques to their home countries to say thank you on behalf of the people of the United Kingdom.

Each name engraved on those plaques represents an extraordinary life story, and we are bringing these together in one digital archive for the first time. They came from different cultures, different faiths, and different countries. Some had left the UK to make a new home overseas. Their backgrounds are diverse, but their values shared. A lesson as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.

They faced unbelievably difficult conditions, often thousands of miles from their homes and family. This film tells more about what they achieved.

Over the next 6 months we will be highlighting their individual stories on GOV.UK. In our first blog we have made a film about three recipients whose medals are on display at the Imperial War Museum. They are George Cartwright from Australia, Shahamad Khan from Pakistan, and Thomas Dinesen from Denmark and Canada.

Here are their stories.