Top tips for researching Victoria Cross Recipients

© IWM (Art.IWM PST 13647)

© IWM (Art.IWM PST 13647)

Was your ancestor awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War, or are you researching the life story of a VC winner? IWM’s Charlotte Czyzyk talks us through some of her top tips for researching VC recipients.

On 29 October 2014, four new Victoria Cross paving stones were unveiled to celebrate the achievements of the following people one hundred years ago:

You can find out more about their life stories by searching a recently added record set on Lives of the First World War, Victoria Cross Recipients 1854-2006. This contains 1,349 entries relating to individuals who were granted this prestigious honour.

Here’s an example for double VC winner Major Acting Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Martin-Leake :

1. Search for the individual in the record set Victoria Cross Recipients 1854-2006

VC tips screengrab 1-1By clicking ‘View image’, you can find a photograph of the individual, their full name, date of birth and death, and information about their gallantry. You can connect this record to the individual, and then add facts from this evidence.

2. Visit the Gazette website and click ‘Search all notices’

VC tips screengrab 2-2Importantly, each Victoria Cross Recipients 1854-2006 entry also provides the date of the Gazette issue in which their citation was published. You can further your research into an individual by visiting the Gazette website and clicking ‘Search all notices’. On the toolbar on the left, enter the name of person you’re looking for and the date of the issue that you’d like to view, and click ‘Update results’.

3. Open the results pages to find the citation

VC tips screengrab 3-3This is a brief summary of the actions and circumstances in which the person earned their medal. Link this to their Life Story page as an external reference and add facts from this evidence.

Are you researching someone who won a gallantry award? Do you have any Victoria Cross winners connected to your town, school or sports club? Share your discoveries with us every Friday on our Facebook page from 12pm.

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