From the frozen wastes of Antarctica to the burning ruins of the Bali bombings, For Gallantry tells the stories of the 28 Australians awarded the nation's highest non-combat awards for bravery: the Imperial George Cross and its Australian Honours and Awards replacement, the Cross of Valour. Created to mark extraordinary deeds away from the field of battle, the awards are the non-combat equivalent of the coveted Victoria Cross. More than a quarter of the recipients were awarded posthumously—testimony to the selflessness recognised by the decorations. They came from all walks of life. From teachers and farmers to defence force members and firefighters, theirs are stories of incredible physical and moral courage. Some were recognised for single heroic acts, others for their conduct over many months of terrible adversity. With assistance from the sole surviving Australian holder of the George Cross, and recipients of the Cross of Valour, For Gallantry profiles their heroic actions in a dedicated volume for the first time.
Craig Blanch is a curator at the Australian War Memorial, and one of the organisation’s foremost authorities on the Victoria Cross, George Cross, and the Cross of Valour. He featured in The Memorial: Beyond the Anzac Legend (The History Channel), and has published numerous articles about the Victoria Cross and its recipients. He is a co-author of the acclaimed For Valour: Australians awarded the Victoria Cross (2018) and a contributing author to The Changi Book.