William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

THE CANADIAN VICTORIA CROSS

Canada is slowly becoming her very own boss
Now issuing for bravery her own Victoria Cross
How did this auspicious occasion happen to be:
At the urging of KVA writer Vincent Courtenay?

Perhaps now the new medal can be issued to Ernie?
A medical Corporal who served with the Army
In Korea, Cpl Poole performed bravely outside the wire
Treating the wounded, saving lives under fire

Poole was put forward by Canada to receive the VC
The Brits put a stop to it – so it was never to be
PM Stephen Harper and GG Michaelle Jean
Making historical changes on the Canadian Scene

As I read the Times Colonist’s inscription of “ProValore”
I was pleased that this medal is now Canada’s Honour
I do dearly love my Queen but you will now understand
We won’t have to go to Britain with our hat in our hand!

NEW MEDAL: Canada Unveils Victoria Cross

Highest military decoration for bravery replaces traditional British version

AMY HUSSER
Canwest News Service
Saturday, May 17, 2008 – Canada

The Canadian Victoria Cross
The Canadian Victoria Cross is pictured following an unveiling ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa yesterday: Chris Wattie, Reuters
OTTAWA — Gov. Gen. Michaélle Jean and Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled Canada’s own version of the Victoria Cross yesterday.

The Canadian Victoria Cross is very similar to its British predecessor — a bronze cross suspended from a crimson ribbon bearing a lion and crown insignia — with the addition of a fleur-de-lis and the English motto “For Valour” changed to the Latin, “Pro Valore”

“The cross is simple enough in appearance but is the result of much reflection, research, historiography, attention to detail and collaboration,” said Jean, addressing a room of veterans, servicemen, young cadets and politicians at Rideau Hall.

The original Victoria Cross was created by Queen Victoria in 1856 following the Crimean War and was awarded for “gallantry in the presence of the enemy.”

A total of 1,353 VCs have been awarded, with 94 Canadians receiving the honour. The last Canadian to garner the prize was navy pilot Hampton Gray in 1945. All of the Canadian recipients are now deceased.

The announcement means the Canadian system of military honours is now entirely our own, said military historian Jack Granatstein.

“It takes the last of the military honours that we offer out of British hands,” said Granatstein earlier this week. “The difference now is that the Victoria Cross would be minted for the Canadian government and given out wholly by the Canadian government. In other words, we wouldn’t take one from the British stockpile and have the Queen award it.”

The Victoria Cross is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a person under military command.

The first Canadian to be awarded the medal will join a “legendary” group of individuals, said Harper.

“Every day in military missions at home and abroad, Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen are putting their lives on the line for us,” he said. “We rarely hear about their everyday heroics but someday, somewhere, these men and women will do something so brave, so gallant, so exceptional that we will hear about it.”