For valour

October 31st, 2014

The Queen met winners of the Victoria Cross and George Cross this week. In 1956 she had reviewed a gathering of VC recipients in Hyde Park for the centenary of the highest military decoration. There is a touching continuity in this – all the more so since one of the VC holders in Hyde Park was Khudadad Khan, who 100 years ago today became the first Indian awarded the medal. Khan belonged to the Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis, made up of Muslims from across India. Khan performed his deeds of astonishing valour at Hollebeke, near Ypres, continuing to work a machinegun though wounded, while all around had been shot or bayoneted. He was left for dead, but managed to crawl back to his unit. We can only marvel at such courage and ensure that our children know of this shared history.


World War Two

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