||Introduced by Queen Victoria, the Victoria Cross is awarded for conspicuous bravery in the presence of the enemy. The first Canadian recipient was Lieutenant Alexander Roberts Dunn, who fought at Balaklava during the Crimean War, in the battle made famous by Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade." Amid the withdrawal on October 25, 1854, Dunn deliberately turned his horse back and attacked oncoming Russian riders, allowing a fellow soldier to escape.
|On the 150th anniversary of that action, Canada Post has issued two domestic rate (49¢) stamps to honour all 94 Canadians who have received the Victoria Cross, the Commonwealth's highest military decoration for bravery.
The stamp, showing an actual medal, is based on photographs provided by the Canadian War Museum. The medal is one of 26 held in the museum's collections, but Canada Post asked that all identifying marks be removed from the photos, so the recipient would remain anonymous even to the stamp's designers.
The second stamp depicts an illustration. In 1993, Queen Elizabeth II approved a Canadian Victoria Cross, similar to the original in every respect save the inscription "Pro valore," a Latin version of "For valour." As no Canadian medal has yet been awarded, none have been created. The stamp reproduces the design approved by the Queen, complete with her signature.
Both stamps are meticulously embossed.
The designer also drew the illustration for the unique pane of 16 stamps, over which is printed the names of all 94 Canadian recipients of the Victoria Cross.