Stanley Gibbons Group Acquires Major J.S. Knox Victoria Cross

The Stanley Gibbons Group plc has acquired of a group of four medals awarded to Major J.S. Knox for his actions in the Crimean War, which includes the first Victoria Cross to be issued to a member of the British Army.

The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria to cover all actions since the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854 and is the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Knox received the Victoria Cross following recommendations by two of his senior officers. Firstly, by Captain Scarlett for his gallantry as a Sergeant in The Scots Fusilier Guards; at the battle of the Alma, he reformed the ranks mid-battle to capture a battery without any loss of life. Secondly, by Captain Bleckett for his bravery at Sebastopol when he assumed command from the injured Captain, before being wounded twice resulting in the loss of his left arm.

Of all the Victoria Crosses awarded for the Crimean War, only 22 of them such as Knox’s were for two or more actions.

‘…very few will wear it who can say they have done more to deserve it’ wrote Scarlett in a letter to Knox dated 4th October 1856.

Knox’s action at the Alma was the earliest for which a VC was awarded to a member of the British Army and he was among the 62 men at the first presentation of the VC, made by Queen Victoria in Hyde Park, London on 26 June 1857.

“The Victoria Cross still remains the apogee for the medal collector, military history enthusiast and increasingly, the investor in search of rare, tangible assets as a store of wealth. The Kenna Victoria Cross sold in Australia in July this year for in excess of £700,000 clearly demonstrating how prized these medals are” said Stanley Gibbons Investment Director Keith Heddle.

Knox’s Victoria Cross along with his Crimean War campaign medals, insignia of the Légion d’honneur, and the Russian cannonball which reputedly caused the partial loss of his left arm at the Redan outside Sebastopol is offered for sale by Stanley Gibbons for £495,000.

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