AN OXFORDSHIRE museum is working remotely to unveil a new display which will tell the stories of the county’s most remarkable heroes.

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (SOFO) in Woodstock is celebrating 32 men who have been awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) or the George Cross (GC).

To qualify for recognition on the museum’s board, an individual must have close and enduring links to the county.

Birth or prolonged residence are qualifications, along with service in one of the county regiments or in one of the permanently based Royal Air Force stations or other Army units.

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However, education for a limited period in one of the schools in the county or at Oxford University does not qualify.

The story behind the new display begins in 1856, when the VC was created to recognise acts of exceptional bravery in the presence of the enemy.

Ten Oxfordshire men were awarded the VC up to 1914 in campaigns such as the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny (four awards) and the Boer War (three awards).

James Langley Dalton, assistant commissary in Lord Chelmsford’s force during the Zulu War, was one of the 11 men who were honoured with the award of the VC following the January 1879 action at Rorke’s Drift.

Dalton Barracks in Abingdon is named after him and his name will be on the museum board.

Oxford Mail:

Six VCs were awarded to county men during World War One.

One of them, Dr Andrea Angel, an Oxford lecturer in chemistry, was given a posthumous award after he died whilst supervising the evacuation of staff when the Brunner-Mond munitions factory in East London caught fire and exploded in January 1917.

Oxford Mail:

In September 1940, the GC was instituted by King George VI for ‘acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of the most extreme danger’.

Four VCs and five GCs were awarded to Oxfordshire men during World War II.

Lawrence Frank Sinclair, a Shipton-under-Wychwood resident, is one of them.

In September 1940, he was awarded the GC for saving a severely injured airman from a crashed and burning aircraft.

Three of the World War Two GCs were awarded to Oxfordshire men in the Royal Navy, two of these for bomb disposal work.

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Five GCs have been awarded to Oxfordshire men since the war with four of them based at different times at Vauxhall Barracks in Didcot, the home of the Army’s explosive ordnance disposal regiment.

The most recent of Oxfordshire’s awards was to Dominic Charles Rupert Troulan, who was born in Banbury.

The retired Royal Marines officer was decorated with the GC for his actions to rescue civilians caught up in the Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi in 2013.

The board is being developed with the VC and GC Association.