Ribble Valley soldier's Victoria Cross campaign

Anthony Ormiston (left) with MP Nigel Evans

Anthony Ormiston (left) with MP Nigel Evans

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

A FORMER member of the Coldstream Guards is campaigning to have the ‘unnamed soldier’ honoured with the British Army’s highest decoration.

Anthony Ormiston, of Pendleton, wrote to Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans with his suggestion, so that the medal could be presented in time to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War next year.

On November 11 1920 an ‘unknown soldier’ was laid to rest at Westminster with full Military Honours in a ceremony normally reserved for one holding the rank of a field marshall.

The soldier represents the thousands of servicemen killed in the war whose bodies were never identified.

In October 1921, the USA conferred their highest decoration, the Congressional Medal of Honor on our ‘unknown soldier’.

In turn their ‘unknown soldier’ received a Victoria Cross.

Mr Ormiston, a former chief inspector for Lancashire police, said it was about time our soldier was recognised in the same way.

He said: “The most important thing about it is that if the suggestion is taken up, it must have the approval of Her Majesty the Queen.

“It would be very special indeed because, as we say in the Army, the Victoria Cross doesn’t come up with the rations.

“Since 1854, 1,259 have received the Victoria Cross and of that only 296 post humously.

“The ‘unknown soldier’ represents the hundreds of thousands of British soldiers who lost their lives in that war and there is no more appropriate time to give him the Cross than for the centenary of the outbreak.”

Mr Ormiston was in the Coldstream Guards, an elite Foot Guards regiments of the British Army, for seven years. It is the oldest regiment in the regular Army in continuous active service, originating in Coldstream, Scotland, in 1650.

Mr Evans said he had written to secretary of state for defence Philip Hammond to arrange a meeting to discuss the proposal.

He said: “Mr Ormiston wrote to me to inquire about the possibility of awarding our ‘unknown soldier’ with a posthumous Victoria Cross, which I agree would be a marvellous symbolic gesture to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War. His is an opinion that I take very seriously on such matters.”

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:55pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Victoria Cross Trust says...

Whilst we at the Victoria Cross Trust would support fully this idea, it is important to remember that after WW2 King George IV made it quite clear that he would not entertain any more VC suggestions from WW1. Would our current sovereign go against her fathers wishes?
Whilst we at the Victoria Cross Trust would support fully this idea, it is important to remember that after WW2 King George IV made it quite clear that he would not entertain any more VC suggestions from WW1. Would our current sovereign go against her fathers wishes? Victoria Cross Trust
  • Score: 1

6:45pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Darren1951 says...

The VC is a gallantry award, given to known individuals for "most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy".That being so, I believe that it should not be awarded in this manner, and that the occasion be marked in a more fitting manner.
The VC is a gallantry award, given to known individuals for "most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy".That being so, I believe that it should not be awarded in this manner, and that the occasion be marked in a more fitting manner. Darren1951
  • Score: 1

6:46pm Thu 31 Jan 13

2 for 5p says...

Why can't they just let it drop
Why can't they just let it drop 2 for 5p
  • Score: -1

7:41pm Thu 31 Jan 13

sen c ble says...

2 for 5p wrote:
Why can't they just let it drop
...because they and others fought for your freedom!
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: Why can't they just let it drop[/p][/quote]...because they and others fought for your freedom! sen c ble
  • Score: 1

11:41pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Major Tom says...

+1 sen c ble
+1 sen c ble Major Tom
  • Score: 0

11:18pm Sat 2 Feb 13

2 for 5p says...

sen c ble wrote:
2 for 5p wrote: Why can't they just let it drop
...because they and others fought for your freedom!
no they did not.
[quote][p][bold]sen c ble[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: Why can't they just let it drop[/p][/quote]...because they and others fought for your freedom![/p][/quote]no they did not. 2 for 5p
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree