Michael Daniels
Edward St John Daniel VC
 The story of the first man to forfeit the Victoria Cross



Pardon and Restoration?


The Victoria Cross Warrants have always included a provision for the restoration of forfeited awards. In the latest recoding of the rules and ordinances, issued by Queen Elizabeth II on 30th September 1961, the 15th Article includes the simple statement:

"it shall be competent for Us, Our Heirs and Successors, to restore the Decoration when such recommendation has been withdrawn and with it such pension as may have been forfeited."

On 24th June 1981, Mr Norman Turnbull of South Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand sent a petition to H.M. Queen Elizabeth requesting a pardon and restoration to the Victoria Cross Registry for Edward St John Daniel.

Mr Turnbull argued that Daniel was a victim of alcoholism and appealed to the Queen’s compassion and fair-mindedness in giving a sympathetic consideration to the petition.

Mr Turnbull received a reply dated 28th September 1981 from the Official Secretary to the NZ Governor-General (to whom the Queen’s Private Secretary had referred the petition). This official reply curtly pointed out that:

"the restoration of forfeited awards may only be made on a petition to the Sovereign from the former recipient himself. In Daniel’s case this is not possible. Furthermore, as your proposal relates to events so long ago it is considered inappropriate to reverse the decision made in 1861 by Queen Victoria".


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