Royal Mail issues stamps marking 150th anniversary of VC

The extract below may be of interest.

The Royal Mail are commemorating the 150th anniversary of the creation of the VC by issuing 6 new stamps depicting 6 of recipients, including the following two naval heros.

Brave lad withstood enemy fire


John Cornwell, 16, was one of the youngest winners of the Victoria Cross. The East End lad joined the Navy in 1915 and a year later was rated as Boy Seaman First Class, a range-layer for the light cruiser HMS Chester's forward six-inch gun.

At the Battle of Jutland, the Chester came under heavy fire as it led the fleet into combat with four enemy cruisers. Captain Lawson of the Chester wrote to Jack's mother: "The wounds which resulted in his death were received in the first few minutes. He remained steady at his most exposed post... all but two of the 10 [gun] crew were killed or wounded, and he was the only one in such an exposed position. But he felt he might be needed, and indeed he might have been; so he stayed there, standing and waiting, under heavy fire, with just his own brave heart and God's help to support him."

Saved ship's crew from artillery shell


Midshipman Lucas was serving during the Crimean War aboard the HMS Hecla, a six-gun, steam-driven paddle sloop, which was one of three ships bombarding a Russian fort on the Aland Islands off the coast of Finland. During the battle, an artillery shell landed on the deck.

Ignoring the orders to lay flat, Lucas, 20, ran towards the device, tossing it overboard and saving the lives of those around him. The shell exploded before it reached the sea. Not only did he receive one of the first VCs, from Queen Victoria herself in Hyde Park in 1857, but the young Irishman was immediately promoted to lieutenant and later become a rear-admiral.