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Captain N.R. Howse

On this day, 24 July 1900, Sir Neville Reginald Howse (pictured above) became the first soldier in Australian services to be awarded a Victoria Cross medal - Britain’s highest award for valour “in the face of the enemy”.

Born in Somerset, England, in 1863, Howse studied medicine in London before migrating to Australia. He served in the Second Boer War with the NSW Army Medical Corps. 

On 24 July 1900, under heavy cross-fire he went to rescue a fallen trumpeter. When his horse was shot beneath him, he continued on foot and on reaching the casualty, dressed his wound and carried him to safety.

Howse died in September 1930, aged 66.

You can have a look at the names, gravesites and other details for the recipients of the Victoria Cross in our UK, Victoria Cross Medals, 1857 - 2007 collection.

Two New Zealand V.C.s in One Day

The UK, Victoria Cross Medals, 1857-2007 collection lists the recipients of the Victoria Cross (VC), Britain’s highest award for valour “in the face of the enemy”.

On 15 July 1942, two New Zealanders distinguished themselves and were recognised with the Victoria Cross.

Sergeant Keith Elliot (pictured above) was awarded the Victoria Cross after he led a bayonet charge, despite being wounded, which resulted in the capture of four enemy machine-gun posts, an anti-tank gun and fifty prisoners. He refused medical aid until he had reformed his men and handed over the prisoners, which amounted to over 130.

Captain Charles Upham (pictured above) is the only combat soldier, and the third ever, to have been awarded a second Victoria Cross medal, the first being in 1941. In July 1942, he personally destroyed a German tank, several guns and vehicles, despite a broken arm.

Charles Upham died in Christchurch in 1994, aged 86. 

You can view names, photos, grave sites and other details of the recipients of the VC in the Victoria Cross Medals, 1857-2007 collection.