The Victoria Cross: Australia remembers by Michael C. Madden – Book Review

Since 1856 when the award was created by Queen Victoria, 100 Australian servicemen have been recognised with the nation’s highest award for valour, the Victoria Cross (VC). The VC is awarded to a person who, in the presence of the enemy, displays the most conspicuous gallantry, or daring, or pre-eminent act of valour, or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty.

Big Sky Publishing: Warriewood, NSW; 2018; 459 pp.; ISBN 9781925520989 (hardcover); RRP $79.99
Big Sky Publishing: Warriewood, NSW; 2018; 459 pp.; ISBN 9781925520989 (hardcover); RRP $79.99

The book provides a separate profile of each Australian VC recipient. Rich colour is added to the profiles by the inclusion of perspectives of families and friends on how the award affected them and their communities. The book also provides a short history of the VC award and its significance.

Madden, who has a deep passion for writing and for Australian military history, is an award-winning novelist and the son of a totally and permanently incapacitated Vietnam veteran. He travelled across Australia and around the world to interview Australia’s four living VC recipients and the families, peers and friends of these 100 remarkable Australians from diverse walks of life. He weaves together official sources with the records of family members and other people who were close to the 96 Australian VC recipients who have died.

The book, which includes a list of sources and several hundred high quality images, is finished with gilt-edged pages and makes a handsome addition to coffee tables, but it might have been further enhanced with a gloss-finished cover. It has been produced as a not-for-profit venture. All proceeds from its sale will go to the Totally & Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Servicemen & Women’s Association of Victoria Inc. for the ongoing support and welfare of its veteran members, their families, dependants and the broader veteran community.

The book is a fantastic record and provides an interesting perspective on an icon of military service.

Contact Marcus Fielding about this article.

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