VICTORIA CROSS & GEORGE CROSS ASSOCIATION REUNIONS


During the celebrations to commemorate the Centenary of the Victoria Cross in June 1956, Brigadier Sir John Smyth Bt, VC, MC, MP, was approached with the suggestion that he should form a VC Association. However, Brigadier Smyth, being a busy Member of Parliament and having no headquarters for an association, was about to turn down the invitation when he received a telephone call from Sir Ralph Raynor MP, chairman of the Royal Society of St George. On behalf of His Grace the Duke of Devonshire and the Royal Society, of which the Duke was president and H.M. the Queen patron, Sir Ralph Raynor invited John Smyth to form a VC Association based on St. George's House and 'under the umbrella' of the Royal Society.

This gesture by the Royal Society made the whole thing possible and Sir John Smyth accepted the chairmanship of the association and it functioned for the first time on the occasion of the tea party held in Westminster Hall on 25th June 1956. On the morning of 27th June the newly constituted committee of the Victoria Cross Association met at St. George's House consisting of twenty-four VCs, thirteen from the United Kingdom and eleven from the Commonwealth.

At the second meeting a decision was made to invite holders of the George Cross to Associate Membership. The Committee of the VC Association in June 1956 was then as follows:


Chairman - VC Association
Brigadier Sir John SMYTH Bt, VC, MC, MP




Vice-Chairmen - VC Association
The Reverend Geoffrey WOOLLEY VC, OBE, MC, MA United Kingdom
Brigadier Milton GREGG VC, CBE, MC Canada




Committee Members - VC Association
Captain Augustus AGAR VC, DSO United Kingdom
Mr John CHRISTIE VC United Kingdom
Group Captain Hughie EDWARDS VC, DSO, OBE, DFC United Kingdom
Mr Thomas GOULD VC United Kingdom
Lieutenant Colonel Reginald HAINE VC, MC United Kingdom
Major David JAMIESON VC United Kingdom
Mr Cyril MARTIN GC, MC United Kingdom
Captain Alfred POLLARD VC, MC, DCM United Kingdom
Air Commodore Frederick WEST VC, CBE, MC United Kingdom
Lance Corporal William SPEAKMAN VC United Kingdom
Captain Edward BELLEW VC Canada
Lieutenant Colonel William JOYNT VC Australia
Lieutenant Quentin SMYTHE VC South Africa
Colonel Premindra BHAGAT VC India
Subadar Gaje GHALE VC India
Lieutenant Colonel Mahmood DURRANI GC Pakistan
Subadar Khudadad KHAN VC Pakistan
Havildar Ali HAIDER VC Pakistan
The Reverend Keith ELLIOTT VC New Zealand
Mr John HINTON VC New Zealand


In 1962, at the 3rd Reunion of the VC Association, a decision was made to invite holders of the George Cross to full membership and as a result the association was renamed the "Victoria Cross & George Cross Association".


Reunion Date Location Guest of Honour




1st Reunion 24 July 1958 Café Royal HRH The Duke of Gloucester
2nd Reunion 7 July 1960 Café Royal HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
3rd Reunion 18 July 1962 Café Royal The Earl Mountbatten
4th Reunion 16 July 1964 Café Royal HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
5th Reunion 14 July 1966 Café Royal The Right Hon Harold Wilson, Prime Minister
6th Reunion 19 July 1968 Café Royal HRH The Duke & Duchess of Kent
7th Reunion 18 June 1970 Connaught Rooms HRH The Princess Alexandra
8th Reunion 14 July 1972 Café Royal HRH The Princess Anne
9th Reunion 23 May 1974 Café Royal HRH The Prince Richard of Gloucester
10th Reunion 22 April 1976 Café Royal HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
11th Reunion 11 May 1978 Café Royal No Royal personage attended
12th Reunion 19 May 1981 Savoy Hotel HRH The Prince of Wales
13th Reunion 6 October 1983 Café Royal HRH The Prince Andrew
14th Reunion 15 May 1986 Café Royal Field Marshal Sir Edwin Brammall, GCB, OBE
15th Reunion 12 May 1988 Café Royal Lord Elwyn Jones CH
16th Reunion 1 November 1990 Café Royal HRH The Princess Royal
17th Reunion 27 May 1993 Café Royal HRH The Duchess of Kent
18th Reunion 1 November 1995 Café Royal HRH The Princess Margaret
19th Reunion 29 May 1997 Locarno Suite FCO HRH The Duke of York
20th Reunion 15 April 1999 Armoury Ho, HQ HAC HRH The Princess Alexandra
21st Reunion 31 May 2001 No 1 Whitehall Place HRH The Prince of Wales ( luncheon )
22nd Reunion 15 May 2003 Army & Navy Club No Royal personage attended
23rd Reunion 15 September 2005 Royal Hospital Chelsea HRH The Princess Royal
24th Reunion 28 June 2006 Windsor Castle HM Queen Elizabeth II
25th Reunion 11 September 2008 Union Jack Club The Marquess of Salisbury
26th Reunion 10 November 2010 Reception Buckingham Palace HM The Queen & HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
27th Reunion 30 May 2012 Reception Naval & Military Club HRH Prince of Wales & The Duchess of Cornwall
28th Reunion 29 October 2014 St James' Palace HRH Prince Harry

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Iain Stewart, 30 October 2014