The Victoria Cross: For Valour

The Victoria Cross: For Valour is a 2003 BBC television historical documentary presented by Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson examines the history of the Victoria Cross, and follows the story of one of the 1,354 men who were awarded it – Major Robert Henry Cain. The main part of the programme was to describe how in September 1944, Major Cain won what was described as the “finest Victoria Cross of the whole war” (Second World War) by his commanding officer Lt Col Derek Mcnally. At the end of the programme it is revealed that Clarkson is married to Cain’s daughter who had no idea that her father was a VC winner until after his death in 1974.

Clarkson also reveals the history of the medal itself and how it is, and always has been, manufactured by a small London jeweller Hancocks Ltd., London, from bronze. The bronze itself is from the melted down breeches of a Chinese-made cannon captured from the Russians at Sevastopol in the Crimean War. The remaining lump of this metal is only enough to create around 80 additional VCs. It was locked away in a safe in a military storage depot in Donnington, Telford.

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  • Mark

    One of the most entertaining documentaries i’ve ever seen. I 100% recommend watching this and just see if you can resist watching the next one.

  • bringmeredwine

    This sure was a good one, and had an extraordinary ending.

  • Brian Ohara

    Absolutely fantastic.

  • Angie

    Fascinating stories of valor. Definitely a must see with an unexpected ending.