The Victoria Cross can only be awarded for 'most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.' It has been awarded only 1,354 times since 1856, the majority going to British and Commonwealth troops.
Symbol of Courage vividly brings the story of the medal to life, giving a narrative history from the Crimean War to the recent war in Afghanistan. It includes many first-hand accounts of individual acts of bravery and describes what happened to the VC holders, some of whom found 'it was harder wearing the medal than winning it'. It also gives a complete listing of every VC holder with details of the action in which they won the medal. Written by acclaimed military historian Max Arthur, this is a fascinating and comprehensive study that will appeal to everyone who is interested in military history.