DEDICATION OF THE VICTORIA CROSS & GEORGE CROSS MEMORIAL IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY


On Wednesday, 14th May 2003, The Queen, as Patron of the Victoria Cross & George Cross Association, and the Duke of Edinburgh were present at the Service of Dedication of the Victoria Cross & George Cross Memorial in Westminster Abbey. The memorial is engraved in nabresina stone with enlarged bronze and silver crosses inlaid with enamelled ribbons.

A tri-service guard of honour stood outside the Great West Door, whilst inside a further guard of honour held flags of nations whose citizens have been recipients of the VC and GC. The Dean of Westminster, The Very Rev Dr Wesley Carr, assisted by the Rev Nicholas Holtam, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, officiated, with readings given by Colonel Stuart Archer GC OBE ERD, and Lieutenant Commander Ian Fraser VC, DSC, RD, Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively of the VC & GC Association.

The newly dedicated Memorial was carried by a Sailor, Soldier, Airman and a Policeman to its site at the west end of the Abbey. The party was preceded by four holders of the George Cross, Michael Pratt, Alf Lowe, Anthony Gledhill and Derek Kinne, and followed by four holders of the Victoria Cross, Lieutenant Commander Ian Fraser, Keith Payne, Flight Lieutenant John Cruickshank and Captain Rambahadur Limbu. Following the playing of the Last Post and Reveille, and the conclusion of the service, the memorial stone was placed on its stand by the Great West Door. ( The memorial stone was lowered into its place in the floor of the Abbey following the ceremony ).

Below are listed the Victoria Cross & George Cross holders who attended the ceremony.


Rank FName LName Service




Captain Richard ANNAND VC Durham Light Infantry
Flt Lieutenant John CRUICKSHANK VC Royal Air Force
Lt Commander Ian FRASER VC Royal Navy
Mr Lachhiman GURUNG VC 8th Gurkha Rifles
Captain Rambahadur LIMBU VC 10th Gurkha Rifles
Captain Keith PAYNE VC Australian Army Training Team
Sub Major Umrao SINGH VC Royal Indian Artillery
Mr Ernest SMITH VC Seaforth Highlanders of Canada
Mr William SPEAKMAN-PITT VC King's Own Scottish Borderers
Sir Tasker WATKINS VC Welch Regiment
Lt Colonel Eric WILSON VC East Surrey Regiment




( Victoria Cross holders unable to attend the ceremony )
Lance Naik Bhanbhagta GURUNG VC 2nd Gurkha Rifles
Mr Edward KENNA VC 4th Infantry Bn, AMF
Captain Gerard NORTON VC Kaffrarian Rifles
WO I Tulbahadur PUN VC 8th Gurkha Rifles




Colonel Stuart ARCHER GC Corps of Royal Engineers
Mr John BAMFORD GC Civilian
Mr James BEATON GC Metropolitan Police
Lt Commander John BRIDGE GC Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve
Colonel Dick BUTSON GC Royal Army Medical Corps
Mr Harry ERRINGTON GC Fireman, London Aux Fire Service
Mr Kenneth FARROW GC Constable, Cardiff City Police
Mr Henry FLINTOFF GC Civilian
Mr Anthony GLEDHILL GC Metropolitan Police
Mr John GREGSON GC Merchant Navy
Mr Derek KINNE GC Royal Northumberland Fusiliers
Mr Alfred LOWE GC Royal Navy
Mr Joseph LYNCH GC Royal Navy
Mr Kenneth PRATT GC Victoria Police ( Australia )
Mrs Margaret PURVES GC Civilian
Mr Awanganak RAWENG GC Soldier
Mr Geoffrey RILEY GC Civilian
Mr Henry STEVENS GC Metropolitan Police
Lt Colonel George STYLES GC Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Mr Charles WALKER GC Royal Navy
Mr Charles WILCOX GC Civilian




Mr Jim MCDONALD RUC GC Foundation
Dr Lawrence GONZI Deputy PM of Malta GC

Altogether 1,400 descendents of past recipients of both awards attended the ceremony, along with Ambassadors, High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries, representatives of government, senior officers of the Royal Navy, the Army and Royal Air Force, representives from the Police, Merchant Navy, ex-Service organisations and many other distinguished friends.

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Iain Stewart, 14 May 2003