Allan Mallinson

The bravest of the brave

Gary Mead highlights the many problems involved with awarding the VC. How can courage be graded? And who should be the judge?

‘It is the task of a Patton or a Napoleon to persuade soldiers that bits of ribbon are intrinsically valuable. The historian’s job, in part, is to spot contradictions and unravel obfuscations, and the history of the VC is steeped in both.’

To this job of de-obfuscating, Gary Mead, former journalist and military historian, might well add ‘though the heavens fall’.

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