Oldham Historical Research Group

'What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- Only the monstrous anger of the guns.'
from 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' by Wilfred Owen

1914 - 1918

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The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest military decoration awarded for valour, "in the face of the enemy" to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces, of any rank in any service, and civilians under military command.
The VC is usually presented to the recipient or to their next of kin by the British monarch at an investiture held at Buckingham Palace.
The VC was introduced by Queen Victoria to commemorate acts of valour during the Crimean War.

"For Valour". The ribbon is deep crimson

Victoria Cross

The servicemen on active service were awarded campaign medals.

There were also numerous brave Oldhamers who were also awarded specific medals for 'gallantry', 'bravery' etc.However, Oldham and its surrounding district can lay claim to no less than 3 soldiers who were awarded the highest decoration possible, 'The Victoria Cross',

One of these men died as a result of wounds sustained at the time, but the remaing two came home safely.

They were:

John Hogan VC - 1914-1918

John Hogan
of Chadderton
he survived the War

Walter Mills VC - 1914-1918

Walter Mills
of Oldham
he died in 1917

Thomas Steele VC - 1914-1918

Thomas Steele
of Springhead
he survived the War

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