Early in WW2, King George VI was deeply impressed by the heroic deeds of servicemen out of the front line and civilian non-combatants in acts connected with the war such as bomb disposal and rescues after air raids. So in September 1940 the King instituted the George Cross for ‘For Gallantry’ away from the heat of actual battle, to be awarded to civilians and servicemen and women. As the war progressed, the range of deeds increased. In April 1942 the unprecedented award of the GC was made to the entire population of the Island of Malta ‘to honor her brave people’. Later the award was made for supreme gallantry to members of the Special Operations Executive, including Violette Szabo and Forest Yeo-Thomas (The White Rabbit). Many were posthumous. The George Cross continued to be awarded in the post war years and up to the present day, and this fine books covers all of these.
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