These special edition 50p coins were issued in 2006 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the institution of the Victoria Cross.
The Victoria Cross is the highest award for gallantry that a British and Commonwealth serviceman can achieve. A recommendation for the Victoria Cross is normally issued by an officer at regimental level or equivalent and has to be supported by three witnesses. 634 VC’s were awarded in World War One and 182 in World War Two.
The original idea for the Victoria Cross was proposed by the Duke of Newcastle in 1854, and the Royal Warrant for the creation of the medal was signed by Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace on 29 January 1856. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the institution of the Victoria Cross, The Royal Mint struck two fifty pence coins.