New issue commemorates the first Victoria Cross awarded to an Australian

January 19th, 2015

According to info received by Australia Post has prepared for issuing a special set of stamps commemorating the first Victoria Cross awarded to an Australian. The philatelic release consists of two stamps that are scheduled to put into circulation on the 22d of January.

The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856 to honour conspicuous bravery during the Crimean War, but was not awarded to an Australian until the Second Boer War of 1899–1902.

During this conflict, in which Australians fought alongside South African and British forces, five Australians were honoured with a Victoria Cross, the first being Captain Neville Howse.

The stamp design of this stamp issue is based on an original one penny (1d) stamp issued by the colony of Victoria in May 1900 to raise funds for the Patriotic Fund for the Boer War. The design, which arose from a public competition, was modelled on the Victoria Cross medal.

The medal is in the form of a bronze pattée bearing the crown of St Edward surmounted by a lion, the emblem of the British royal family, and the inscription "FOR VALOUR".

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