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The Most Decorated War Hero in the History of The British Empire

Discussion in 'General' started by 17thDYRCH, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    CANADIAN Lieutenant-Colonel William Barker

    Victoria Cross, DSO twice,
    Military Cross three times, Croix de guerre,
    Medaglia d'argento al valore militare twice,
    Mentioned in Despatches three times

    He was a farm boy from Manitoba who became the most decorated serviceman in Canadian, British Empire and Commonwealth history.

    Canada’s most-decorated war hero finally gets his due - The Globe and Mail
     
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    An alternative leading candidate?Arthur, Duke and Marquess of Wellington, Marquess Douro, Earl of Wellington, Viscount Wellington and Baron Douro, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, One of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, and Field Marshal and Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's Forces. Field Marshal of the Austrian Army, Field Marshal of the Hanoverian Army, Field Marshal of the Army of the Netherlands, Marshal-General of the Portuguese Army, Field Marshal of the Prussian Army, Field Marshal of the Russian Army, and Captain-General of the Spanish Army. Prince of Waterloo, of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo and Grandee of Spain of the First Class. Duke of Victoria, Marquess of Torres Vedras, and Count of Vimiera in Portugal. Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece, and of the Military Orders of St. Ferdinand and of St. Hermenigilde of Spain. Knight Grand Cross of the Orders of the Black Eagle and of the Red Eagle of Prussia. Knight Grand Cross of the Imperial Military Order of Maria Teresa of Austria. Knight of the Imperial Orders of St. Andrew, St. Alexander Newski, and St. George of Russia. Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Portuguese Military Order of the Tower and Sword. Knight Grand Cross of the Royal and Military Order of the Sword of Sweden. Knight of the Order of St. Esprit of France. Knight of the Order of the Elephant of Denmark. Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order. Knight of the Order of St. Januarius and of the Military Order of St. Ferdinand and of Merit of the Two Sicilies. Knight Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the Annunciation of Sardinia. Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Military Order of Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria. Knight of the Royal Order of the Rue Crown of Saxony, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Military Merit of Wurtemberg. Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of William of the Netherlands. Knight of the Order of the Golden Lion of Hesse Cassel, and Knight Grand Cross of the Orders of Fidelity and of the Lion of Baden.
    At his funeral Wellesley's style was proclaimed (laid out the following order and format in the London Gazette) - Arms, titles, honours and styles of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    Chris C likes this.
  3. Marco

    Marco Senior Member

    Well, that depends on how you count. If by numbers than he ranks high. But if you compare it to poker does a Victoria Cross twice, Military Cross and Mention in Despatches beat your hand? ;-)
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Ooh, Top trumps - we do maybe need a points system here.
     
  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Arthur, Duke and Marquess of Wellington, Marquess Douro, Earl of Wellington, Viscount Wellington and Baron Douro, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, One of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, and Field Marshal and Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's Forces.
    All right.

    Field Marshal of the Austrian Army, Field Marshal of the Hanoverian Army,
    Can't remember any battle in Austrian nor Hannoverian territory. He commanded tropps of the King's German Legion so that makes it acceptable.

    Field Marshal of the Army of the Netherlands, Marshal-General of the Portuguese Army,
    Ok both.

    Field Marshal of the Prussian Army, Field Marshal of the Russian Army,
    Can't remember any battle in Austrian nor Russian territory.

    and Captain-General of the Spanish Army. Prince of Waterloo, of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo and Grandee of Spain of the First Class. Duke of Victoria, Marquess of Torres Vedras, and Count of Vimiera in Portugal.
    Ok, but it's Vimeiro, not Vimeira.

    Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece, and of the Military Orders of St. Ferdinand and of St. Hermenigilde of Spain.
    Ok, but in the tinsel toy honourific orders class .

    Knight Grand Cross of the Orders of the Black Eagle and of the Red Eagle of Prussia. Knight Grand Cross of the Imperial Military Order of Maria Teresa of Austria. Knight of the Imperial Orders of St. Andrew, St. Alexander Newski, and St. George of Russia.
    Bollocks, more me-too orders.

    Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Portuguese Military Order of the Tower and Sword.
    Ok.

    Knight Grand Cross of the Royal and Military Order of the Sword of Sweden. Knight of the Order of St. Esprit of France. Knight of the Order of the Elephant of Denmark. Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order. Knight of the Order of St. Januarius and of the Military Order of St. Ferdinand and of Merit of the Two Sicilies. Knight Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the Annunciation of Sardinia. Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Military Order of Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria. Knight of the Royal Order of the Rue Crown of Saxony, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Military Merit of Wurtemberg. Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of William of the Netherlands. Knight of the Order of the Golden Lion of Hesse Cassel, and Knight Grand Cross of the Orders of Fidelity and of the Lion of Baden.
    Jeez! The only thing missing here is the Order of the Dog Collar! At least he evaded the Légion d'Honneur :D
     
  6. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Wonder if he had a medal carrier called Baldrick
     
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Jeez! The only thing missing here is the Order of the Dog Collar! At least he evaded the Légion d'Honneur :biggrin:
    Give us your list of titles from grateful nations who's bacon you helped save, or who's troops you commanded then mate.
    Just so I can take your critiques more seriously you understand. ;)


    The 'British Empire' thing complicates doesn't it, as it encompasses a pretty long time when gallantry medals weren't quite issued in the same modern manner we often think of 'em.
     
  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    That's easy. His military exploits during the Napoleonic wars encompassed the territories of Portugal, Spain, and France as far as Toulouse. A year later the Kingdom of Holland as far as Waterloo. Discussing his merits relative to others who actually fought in the territories concerned is something I won't do, that's sterile whatiffery.

    I'm not demeaning his valour nor abilities, it is my belief if it weren't for him I'd be speaking French (or worse: Spanish!), and this is not a literary tour. But I'm sure you'll recognise the habit nations have of bestowing the most incongruous honours on the hapless recipients who have to accept them for political reasons. I remember George Patton's Order of Kutuzov, for one. I'm not criticising the man, I'm making fun of distant aristocracies trying to curry favour, the latest paragraph is almost a catalogue of the Confederation of the Rhine pricedoms.

    Wellington's name is remembered with respect here, not so Sir Hew Dalrymple's.
     
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I'd kind of automatically exclude Royals from a 'most decorated' list, as many of their honours come with birth.
    Maybe we should also exclude the marginally automatic stuff given to nobility, and include only 'Field' decorations?

    I wonder if the likes of Rhodes might be worth inclusion though - those pretty much given countries to play with for services to the Empire, though the military aspect of that's debatable, it is there.

    Any Dual VC is pretty strong for 'Imperial' awards, but even that only runs from pretty late in the Empire.
     
  10. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    Who would be the most decorated of ww2?
     
  11. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Who would be the most decorated of ww2?


    WT,
    I believe there was a Gurhka who was awarded 2 VC's. Not sure of the name. I am sure Andy will be along shortly.

    Cheers from the colony,
     
  12. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    WT,
    I believe there was a Gurhka who was awarded 2 VC's. Not sure of the name. I am sure Andy will be along shortly.

    Cheers from the colony,

    No. Among 26 Gurkhas and British Gurkha officers who were awarded with VC none of them was awarded twice with it.
     
  13. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Sol,
    I stand corrected.
     
  14. Jaeger

    Jaeger Senior Member

    IIRC there were men who won the VC twice during the Great war, but none during WW2. I cannot remember which book that spoke of it, but I think it was in connection with a piece on Lorne Campbell.
     
  15. KevinC

    KevinC Slightly wierd

    IIRC there were men who won the VC twice during the Great war, but none during WW2. I cannot remember which book that spoke of it, but I think it was in connection with a piece on Lorne Campbell.
    what about this chap ....
    Charles Upham - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  16. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    IIRC there were men who won the VC twice during the Great war, but none during WW2. I cannot remember which book that spoke of it, but I think it was in connection with a piece on Lorne Campbell.

    Captain Charles Upham, from 2nd New Zealand Division was awarded with VC and Bar during ww2.
     
  17. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

  18. KevinC

    KevinC Slightly wierd

    Kev, you were faster then me :)
    :D
    I love the story about when he was released from being a POW he wanted to get back into the war
     
  19. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

  20. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Junior Member

    New Zealander Captain Charles Upham VC & Bar

    See Charles Upham - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    King George VI had invested Upham with his first Victoria Cross at Buckingham Palace on 11 May 1945. When the recommendation was made for a second VC, the King remarked to Major-General Howard Kippenberger that a bar to the cross would be "very unusual indeed" and enquired firmly, "Does he deserve it?" Kippenberger replied, "In my respectful opinion, sir, Upham won the VC several times over.
     

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