Tri-Service

75 Years Of The George Cross

To mark the 75th anniversary of the George Cross, 14 recipients of the rarely-awarded gallantry medal gathered in London this September...

To mark the 75th anniversary of the George Cross, 14 recipients of the rarely-awarded gallantry medal gathered in London this September.

Instituted by King George VI on the September 24th, 1940, it's the highest such award that can be given to civilians.

For members of the Armed Forces it ranks just below the Victoria Cross (VC) and is awarded for acts of extreme bravery outwith the direct field of combat.

George Cross and George Medal recipients gather to mark 75th anniversary

One of those attending the ceremony was Warrant Officer Kim Hughes. He was awarded the medal after making over 80 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) safe during the Afghan War.

The British Army bomb disposal expert's citation stated that he carried out "the single most outstanding act of explosive ordnance disposal ever recorded in Afghanistan."

Bob and Jem Wright's son Mark, meanwhile, was awarded a posthumous George Cross after the 27-year-old Corporal died in 2006 while attempting to rescue injured comrades from a minefield in Afghanistan.

Corporal Wright's courageous story formed the basis of the 2014 film Kajaki.

Just 404 people have been given the George Cross, some of them posthumously awarded.

The island of Malta and the Royal Ulster Constabulary have also been given the honour collectively. Malta withstood repeated air raids and a naval blockade which virtually crippled the island into defeat during the Second World War.