|BCV03||Alfred Joseph Knight VC 100th Anniversary||£10.95||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 20/09/2017
Issue Name: Alfred Joseph Knight VC 100th Anniversary
Producer: Buckingham Covers
Marking the 100th anniversary of Alfred Joseph Knight VC being awarded the Victoria Cross, the only Post Office rifleman to do so. With a 2016 Post Office Rifle stamp and Royal Mail, Birmingham postmark. Doubled with a Victoria Cross stamp and special cachet.
The Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross was instituted by a Royal Warrant dated 29 January 1856, but was made retrospective to the autumn of 1854 to cover the period of the Crimean War.
Prince Albert, the Prince Consort was much involved in the decision to institute the Victoria Cross - but the popular idea that the Prince designed the cross is not supported in any of the surviving documents. It is thought that the manufacturers were responsible for the design. However, it was Queen Victoria who chose the inscription on the obverse.
Hanocks (Jewellers) Ltd, London, have made all the Victoria Crosses since the inception of the award. They are made from bronze melted down from the breeches of guns captured from the Russians at Sebastopol in the Crimea, The rough cast Crosses are then individually hand finished; each is
therefore unique. The recipient’s name, rank and unit are inscribed on the reverse of the suspension bar. The date of the act of bravery is inscribed in the centre of the reverse of the cross. The remaining ingot of bronze, believed to be sufficient for a further 80 Crosses, is held by the Ministry of Defence.
The original Warrant gave the ribbon colour as red for the Army and blue for the Navy. With the formation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918, the use of the blue ribbon was abolished. Living holders of ‘Naval’ VCs were required to exchange their blue ribbons for red ones. The colour of the ribbon might be more accurately described as ‘wine red’.
The first VC was awarded to the Royal Navy, won by Mate C D Lucas, Royal Navy, HMS Hecla, Baltic, 21 June 1854, Crimean War. The first VC for the Army was won by Sergeant L O’Connor, 23rd Regiment (later Royal Welch Fusiliers), Battle of Alma, 20 September 1854, Crimean War.