Veterans Aid joins VC to support The Guards Museum

May 15, 2012

Veterans Aid fundraiser Col Geoffrey Cardozo and colleagues joined L/Cpl Johnson Beharry VC for dinner at The Guards Museum after a fascinating lecture about the history of the award.

Victoria Cross expert David Callaghan showed slides of early recipients and explained how the medal had come into being. Afterwards the audience of 60 friends and supporters of the museum sat down to dine surrounded by its fascinating collection of memorabilia.

“This is an outstanding venue,” said Col Cardozo “absolutely unique.

After a three course meal at tables decorated with glittering military silverware, guests were given a whirlwind introduction to some of the room’s most interesting treasures by host and Curator Andrew Wallis.

The auction that followed had raised £3,000 for the museum when L/Cpl Beharry decided to donate the replica decorations that he wore, for ceremonial occasions, to the sale. (His ‘real’ VC is in safe custody at Buckingham Palace). This generous gesture boosted the amount raised to £8,500.

L/Cpl Beharry is the first member of the 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, to earn a VC. The highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, it was awarded to him on 18 March 2005, for twice saving members of his unit from ambushes. The first event on 1 May and the second on 11 June 2004 at Al-Amarah, Iraq. He sustained serious head injuries in the latter engagement.

The Guards Museum is a treasure, tucked away next to Wellington Barracks and the Guards Chapel in Birdcage Walk – a mine of information and repository of artefacts relating to the five regiments of Foot Guards (Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards). Along with the two regiments of Household Cavalry they make up Her Majesty’s Household Division and enjoy the treasured privilege of guarding The Sovereign and the Royal Palaces.

CEO of Veterans Aid Dr Hugh Milroy said “The Guards Museum has been a great friend to our charity, hosting a Curry Lunch for us last year and again this year to raise finds for the work we do among veterans in crisis. This evening’s event was inspirational – members of the military community supporting one another in the most positive way.”