MPs demand public monument to Britain's most gallant soldiers

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Indy Politics

Britain's most gallant heroes should be honoured with their own public memorial, MPs from all parties have said, as two British soldiers were nominated for the Victoria Cross for bravery while serving in Afghanistan.

A petition has been put on the Downing Street website calling for the Government to commemorate recipients of the Victoria Cross, the highest gallantry award for the military, and the George Cross, the highest award for bravery given to civilians and to soldiers who are not actually facing the enemy at the time.

A campaign has also been launched on the social networking vehicle Facebook to increase pressure on Gordon Brown to establish a memorial, possibly in Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square or another central London venue.

Although they have carried out some of the most heroic acts ever performed, there is currently no visible public memorial to holders of the Victoria Cross. The only one is within the MoD's Whitehall offices.

Recent recipients include Private Johnson Beharry, who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 2005 for two individual acts of bravery in which he saved the lives of his comrades in Iraq while facing enemy fire.

It emerged last night that Captain David Hicks, who died of his wounds, and Corporal Oliver Ruecker are to be nominated for VCs

"It is about time that the British public were given the opportunity to pay tribute to these great men and women, who have provided outstanding service to their community and their friends and colleagues in the most testing and trying conditions and times," said Lee Rotherham, who is coordinating the campaign. "There is cross-party support for this and from the public.

"The time has surely come to create a national memorial accessible to all."