Victoria Cross - The New Zealand Story

Created by Queen Victoria in 1856, the Victoria Cross recognises acts of gallantry in the presence of the enemy by members of the armed forces. Of the hundreds of thousands who have proudly served New Zealand, at present, just 22 have received the esteemed Victoria Cross.

Issue information

In total 21 men won the Victoria Cross representing New Zealand from February 1864 (Captain Charles Heaphy) to August 1943 (Flying Officer Lloyd Trigg (RNZAF). This included two awards of the Victoria Cross to Charles Upham. In 1999 the Queen of New Zealand instituted the ‘Victoria Cross for New Zealand’ and the only recipient to date has been Corporal Willie Apiata for his gallantry in Afghanistan.

Gallant Acts of Bravery

The bravery and sacrifice of New Zealand's Victoria Cross recipients are inspirational, and their stories remarkable. Sergeant James Edward Allen Ward, RNZAF, was the Second Pilot in a Wellington bomber on operations over Holland in 1941. When the bomber was hit by incendiary fire from a Messerschmitt 110, fire broke out in the Wellington’s starboard engine. With the fire taking hold rapidly, Ward successfully ventured out onto the wing and put out the fire, saving his own life and those of his comrades.

Stories that Inspire

Stories such as Sergeant Ward’s showcase the unrelenting bravery displayed by the Victoria Cross winners, and justify its rank as the highest award in our military forces. Each of the recipients has their own valiant story, which is told in detail in the unique publication: Victoria Cross - The New Zealand Story.

A truly inspiring read, it was the only book of its kind that comprehensively paid tribute to the Victoria Cross recipients of New Zealand. The 108 pages were bound within a fabric hard cover that featured stunning silver foiling. Inside was fascinating information, including a vast array of imagery, from photographs to paintings, citations and maps.

As well as telling captivating stories, the publication was your only chance to obtain some unique stamp products that are not available elsewhere. Throughout the publication was miniature sheets for each of the Victoria Cross recipients, along with short descriptions detailing their acts of valour.

Also included was an exclusive stamp sheet that is different from the one available individually. Each stamp in the sheet featured one of the 22 Victoria Cross winners, in the order in which they received their medal. Collectables like this were the perfect accompaniment to this high-quality publication.

Product Listing for Victoria Cross - The New Zealand Story

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Image Title Description Price
Set of Stamps Mint, used or cancelled sheet of 22 x 60c stamps. $13.20
Set of First Day Covers Set of three first day covers with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $14.70

A 108 page hard-cover publication which included 22 exclusive miniature sheets for each of New Zealand's Victoria Cross recipients, a unique stamp sheet that is different to the one that was available individually, as well as citations, imagery and more.

Still available for purchase. Click here.


Technical information

Date of issue: 14 April 2011
Number of stamps: 22
Denominations: 60c x 22
Stamps and first day cover designed by: Cue Design, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours plus silver
Stamp size and format: 40mm x 30mm (vertical)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 22
Perforation gauge: 13.33 x 13.6
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 13 April 2012.