British World War I: 1914 Mons Star. The majority of recipients were officers and men of the pre-war British army, specifically the British Expeditionary Force (the Old Contemptibles), who landed in France soon after the outbreak of the War and who took part in the Retreat from Mons (hence the nickname 'Mons Star'). 365,622 were awarded in total.
On this day 29th January 1856 Queen Victoria instituted Britain's highest military decoration, the Victoria Cross, (VC) The medal is awarded to British and commonwealth armed forces for outstanding bravery on the field of battle. The medal was originally made from the metal of cannon captured from the Russians at Sevastopol until the supply came to an end in 1942