The Victoria Cross is awarded for most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or preeminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy, and carries the simple legend “For Valour”. Created by Queen Victoria 1856, the medal carries the legend “For Valour” (the Canadian version, unveiled in 1993, reads “Pro Valore”), and since its inception, approximately 1300 medals have been awarded, shared amongst the forces of the British Empire and the Commonwealth.
In the First World War, the prolonged years of conflict on the Western Front accounted for the 70 Victoria Crosses won by Canadians, 19 awarded to Manitobans. Of these, three were won by members of the 8th Battalion, and two by former Little Black Devils serving with other battalions.
Four additional VCs were won by men serving in other Winnipeg Battalions: two each by the 10th Battalion Winnipeg Light Infantry and the 27th City of Winnipeg Battalion; battle honours and traditions were transferred to The Royal Winnipeg Rifles in perpetuity when the Battalions were disbanded, and are held in high esteem by the Regiment.
For the Second World War, the number of Victoria Cross winners was fewer in number, only 16 being awarded to Canadians. Of these two were won by Manitobans: Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski of the RCAF and CSM J.R. Osborne of the Winnipeg Grenadiers at Hong Kong.