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Plymouth's WWI Victoria Cross recipients

The Victoria Cross was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War.

Today it is the highest military decoration awarded to members of the armed forces of the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and former territories of the British Empire for valour 'in the face of the enemy'. During the First World War 627 individuals received the Victoria Cross. Four of these men were from Plymouth and Devonport.

During the First World War four men hailing from Plymouth and Devonport received the Victoria Cross. They were:

  • Alfred Joseph Richards (21 June 1879 to 21 May 1953)
  • John James Crowe (28 December 1876 to 27 February 1965)
  • Brigadier General George Grogan (1 September 1875 to 3 January 1962)
  • Sir Arnold Horace Santo Waters (23 September 1886 to 22 January 1962)

In total 627 individuals received the Victoria Cross during the conflict although 628 were awarded (a man called Noel Chavasse received it twice). Of these individuals, 361 were born in England, 70 were born in Scotland and 16 were born in Wales. 35 were born in pre-partition Ireland and 145 were born in other countries overseas.

Further Information

Find out more about how the Victoria Cross was instigated plus the location of graves, medals and more on the Victoria Cross website.

Find out what the government is doing during the WWI Centenary between 2014 and 2018 to honour our Victoria Cross heroes on the GOV.UK website.