The Queen unveiled the memorial before the High Altar, and the ledger was inlaid with enlarged bronze and silver crosses, suspended by enamelled ribbons. The inscription reads simply: 'Remember Their Valour and Gallantry'.
The memorial ceremony was conducted in the presence of 34 of the remaining 44 living holders of these two awards, with two Freemason VCs and two GCs in the congregation.
It was in Westminster Abbey on Armistice Day, 11th November 1920 that the Unknown Soldier was carried to his final resting place by a special Honour Guard of 100 men chosen by lot.
The majority were VC holders, and this famous 'VC Guard' as it became known, had 11 Freemasons in its ranks including New Zealander Lt.Col. (later General Lord) Bernard Freyberg VC, who had won his medal following the capture of the Beaucourt Redoubt at the Battle of the Ancre in 1916.
It is fitting that so many Freemasons should be associated with these two medals for outstanding gallantry, not least as the 150th anniversary of the Victoria Cross takes place in January 2006.
Tommy Gould VC
Initiated in Lord Charles Beresford Lodge No. 2404
On 16 February 1942, north of Crete, Petty Officer Gould was on board HM Submarine Thrasher. After sinking an Axis supply ship they came under air attack faced 33 depth charges and two unexploded bombs were lodged in the gun-casing. Gould and First Lieutenant Peter Roberts who also won the VC in this incident, removed the first one without too much trouble, but the second had to be approached lying full length. Gould lay on his back with the bomb in his arms while Roberts dragged him by the shoulders. The bomb made a disconcerting twanging noise whenever it was moved, and it took 40 minutes before the bomb could be wrapped in sack and dropped over the bows.
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