Victoria Cross winners celebrated by £1m museum



2015-06-26 11:52:57

Victoria Cross winners celebrated by 1m museum

VC wins from Welsh soldiers in 1879 and 1944 will be amongst the displays

Cardiff Castle opens its doors today to pressent a new museum: Firing Line: Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier.

Tracing the history of the Welsh military over 300 years, from battling Napoleon to modern day war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the exhibition is a joint enterprise by 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards and The Royal Welsh.

Two of the sections which celebrate the proudest moments of the Welsh soldier are Victoria Cross awards - the .

The most VCs ever awarded for a single battle were presented for staunch defence at Rorke's Drift by the British Army in January 1879. 139 soldiers successfully defended supply depot against an attacking force of 4,000-5,000.

The Battle of Rorke's Drift 1879 by Adolph Alphonse de Neuville The Battle of Rorke's Drift 1879 by Adolph Alphonse de Neuville

11of the valuable awards were given (seven to members of what was shortly to become the South Wales Borderers), plus five Distinguished Conduct Medals.

A much later award was that for Sir Tasker Watkins. Sir Tasker, who died in 2007 aged 88, won his Victoria Cross for leading a charge on a Wehrmacht machine gun post in 1944, pressing the attack even as all the other officers were killed and taking out the post himself.

Sir Tasker, who went on to become a judge, was embarrassed at the amount of attention which the event brought, and an oil painting of the attack was taken down from public view at his request.

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