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"Victoria's Cross" by Gary Mead
The Scorer


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 317
Location: Newport
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This is a new book looking at the story of the VC and seeking to open up the hidden stories behind the awarding of the medal.

Mr Mead seems to have an agenda, as he's been very busy rubbishing the claims of many of the servicemen awarded the Cross since it's inception. One claim he makes concerns the posthumous awards to Neville Coghill and Teignmouth Melvill in 1879.

He correctly points out that their awards weren't made until 1907, but then goes on to say that "in all likelihood the tale of Coghill and Melvill riding to save the colours was entirely fictitious, the spurious creation of a British press that was developing an appetite for heroes."

To support this view, he quotes Sir Garnett Wolseley's view that both of them should have "died with their men at Isandlwana". There's more in the same vein, but too much to quote here. If you want to read it, it's on pages 99 to 102.

Any thoughts?
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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 871
Location: Queensland, Australia
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One word: Disappointing!

AMB
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The Scorer


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 317
Location: Newport
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AMB wrote:
One word: Disappointing! AMB


To be honest, I thought that I'd get some more responses, and that they'd be stronger than this!
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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I haven't read this book but does he give any evidence for the claims? On the face of it,
it sounds a bit of a 'controversy equals sales' book. We have had many examples of this.

The sad aspect of this is that those who have not read around the subject will assume that he is correct.
There are also many theories which add to confusion such as ammunition supply, Durnford's
last stand, Zulus' use of Martinis at Rorke's Drift, whether they meant to attack on the 22nd. etc.

I'm sorry too that you didn't get much of a response, but I get the impression that some members may
think that it's all be said before and can't be bothered.

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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 923
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Scorer,

It sounds like the author is somewhat misguided, but without reading the text for myself I am loathed to make further comment.

Regards,

John Y.
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The Scorer


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 317
Location: Newport
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Thank you both for your comments.

No, I don't think that Mr Mead does give any real evidence to support his view. He does, as I said in my original post, quote Sir Garnett Wolseley's view, together with that of (I think - I haven't got the book any more) Lord Chelmsford's views on the matter.

Neither of these are new or necessarily right, hence my original comment that he seems to have an agenda. He does the same with several other awards, and it's a pity, as I think the book could have been much better if he hadn't done this.

Topic closed, I think?
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"Victoria's Cross" by Gary Mead
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