Spotlight on the Last Six Recipients of the Victoria Cross Medal

The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour “in the face of the enemy” to members of the armed forces of Commonwealth countries and some previous British Empire territories. We take a look at six of the most recent recipients of the award.

 

Joshua Leakey awarded The Victoria Cross medal for valour

2015 – Joshua Leakey

  • Born 1988 | Allegiance: United Kingdom
  • Service/Branch: British Army

Why was he awarded the VC?

Joshua joined the British Army in 2007 and served three tours of duty as a paratrooper in Afghanistan, in 2009, 2011 and 2013. On 22 August 2013, in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Leakey’s patrol was attacked while performing a routine patrol. Leakey rose above and beyond his call of duty, assessed the situation quickly and made the decision that urgent action was necessary. Leakey first attended to a wounded US Marine Corps captain, before returning under great danger to fight back - preventing considerable loss of life.

 

Fact: Leakey is Britain’s first living holder of the Victoria Cross from the war in Afghanistan.

 

 

James Ashworth awarded The Victoria Cross medal for valour

2012 – James Ashworth

  • Born 1989 | Killed in action 2012
  • Allegiance: United Kingdom
  • Service/Branch: British Army

Why was he awarded the VC?

On 13th June 2012, Ashworth’s platoon was engaged in battle with an enemy group in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Ashworth’s quick strategic thinking and valour under heavy enemy fire enabled him to accurately land a grenade, which allowed his platoon to complete clearance of the compound.

 

 

Fact: Ashworth was the first British recipient of the Victoria Cross from the war in Afghanistan.

 

 

Benjamin Roberts Smith awarded The Victoria Cross medal for valour

2011 – Benjamin Roberts-Smith

  • Born 1978 | Allegiance: Australia
  • Service/Branch: Australian Army

Why was he awarded the VC?

On 11 June 2010, Roberts-Smith was part of a Special Operations Task Group patrol which conducted a helicopter assault into Tizak, Afghanistan, in order to neutralise a senior Taliban commander. Facing heavy attacks and causalities upon arrival, Roberts-Smith and his patrol moved into dangerously close proximity to the enemy in order to neutralise enemy machine gun positions. Roberts-Smith repeatedly risked his own safety to enable his team to perform key strategic moves against the insurgents, ultimately enabling his patrol to break into the enemy position, causing the Taliban to retreat from the area.

Fact: Following his service, Roberts-Smith studied for a master of business administration (MBA) at the University of Queensland - and he's determined to finish it in 2016. 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/paratrooper-joshua-leakey-becomes-britian-s-first-living-holder-of-the-victoria-cross
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/corporal-cameron-baird-who-died-in-afghanistan-becomes-100th-australian-to-be-awarded-victoria-cross
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk/victoria-cross-for-afghan-hero
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/victoria-cross-winner-corporal-daniel-keighran-a-quiet-achiever-at-school
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-01-23/premier-pays-tribute-to-war-hero
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/the-deal-magazine/uq-undergraduate-ben-robertssmith-aims-to-add-an-mba-to-hisvcy
http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll
http://www.theage.com.au//breaking-news-national/im-no-hero-says-aussie-soldier-with-vc

 

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