1. The VC can be awarded to women although no woman has yet received one.
  2. Originally the VC could not be awarded posthumously, i.e. to anyone who had died whilst performing the act of gallantry; this was changed by an incident in 1900 although formal recognition of posthumous awards did not take place until 1920.
  3. The VC can be awarded to civilians if they are "serving with the armed forces"; so far, only five have been bestowed (four in the Indian Mutiny in 1857-58 and one in Afghanistan in 1879).
  4. When first awarded, Army VCs were issued with crimson ribbons and Navy VCs had blue ribbons. When the RAF was formed in 1918, it was decided to adopt crimson for all three services rather than introduce a third colour.
  5. The VC takes precedence over all other British awards and decorations, even the great orders of chivalry.
  6. Under the original statutes for the VC, medals could be forfeited (i.e. cancelled) if the recipient was later found guilty of "dishonourable conduct". In total, eight VCs were forfeited, including one to an officer, for a variety of crimes including theft and bigamy. The last was forfeited in 1908 and the practice was discontinued in 1920.
  7. The original motto suggested for the obverse (front) of the VC was "For the Brave" but this was vetoed by Queen Victoria who felt that it implied that any serviceman not given the medal was not brave; at her instigation therefore the legend "For Valour" was adopted.
  8. All VCs are cast from worthless bronze cannon metal originally sourced from two supposedly Russian guns captured at Sebastopol during the Crimean War. These had been used up by the end of 1914 however, since which time bronze from two Chinese guns (probably captured during the Second China War in 1860) has been used.
  9. Each and every VC should be engraved with the details of the name, rank and unit (or service) of the recipient on the reverse of the suspension bar, and with the date of his act of bravery within the central circle on the back of the cross itself. However, at least two genuine VCs are known to exist which do not have any date on the reverse, an enigma for which there is no logical explanation.
  10. When a large number of men collectively performed a recognised act of bravery, the VCs (usually more than one) for the action were chosen by ballot amongst the men involved; forty-six have been awarded by this method, the last being for the famous Zeebrugge Raid in April 1918.