Jim Beaton GC CVO JP was born in St. Fergus, Aberdeenshire, on 16 February 1943. He was educated at Peterhead Academy and joined the Metropolitan Police in 1962. After service at Notting Hill, Harrow Road and Wembley, where he was station sergeant he was appointed a Royal Protection officer in 'A' Division in 1973. At the time of his GC Action, Jim was an Inspector serving as Police Officer to the Princess Royal, a post he remained in until 1979. He was appointed LVO in 1987 and advanced to CVO in 1992. After retirement from the Police service with the rank of Chief Superintendent in 1992 he worked as a Head of Security with Elf Oil in Aberdeen. Jim retired in 2000 and moved near his two daughters and grandchildren. He served as a Justice of the Peace and enjoys golf and an out-door life. Jim served as Chairman of the Association from 2003 to 2014.
Captain Sam Shephard GC RM was born 20th July 1987 in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. He continues to serve in the Royal Marines and was recently ADC to the First Sea Lord.
Johnson Beharry was born on 26th July 1979 in Grenada. He moved to the UK twenty years later and joined the British Army. He is still serving and is much in demand for public appearances as well as helping to motivate young people, particularly from underprivileged backgrounds. Johnson is in the process of launching his own Charitable Foundation which will concentrate on helping underprivileged urban youth in the UK and Grenada, particularly those involved in gang-crime. Lives in London with his wife and son.
Born on 2nd April 1979 and brought up in New South Wales, Mark Donaldson joined The Royal Australian Regiment of the Royal Australian Infantry Corps in 2002 and was enlisted in the SASR in 2004. He was the first Australian to receive the Victoria Cross for Australia. Mark is still serving in the SASR and lives in Western Australia with his wife, Emma, and their two children. He was voted Young Australian of the Year in 2010, and became Patron in Chief of the Australian charity Soldier On in 2012. Mark undertakes many public engagements on behalf of the Army and also spend time working with and inspiring young people.
Born and brought up in Altrincham, Cheshire Bill Speakman VC enlisted in the Black Watch in 1945. He served in Germany, Italy and Hong Kong before volunteering for Korea when he was attached to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers in 1951 and subsequently transferred to that regiment. Although wounded in his VC action and repatriated to the UK he volunteered and returned to Korea in 1952. He served in with the Malayan Scouts in 1955 and then rejoined the KOSB and served in Aden and the Radfan, Saudi Arabia and Brunei before being posted to Germany in 1968 and left the Army. He worked as a Master-at-Arms on mail ships before settling in South Africa and working for a Security company in Cape Province and Natal. By 1983 he was Deputy Chief Security Officer, Divisional Council of the Cape Province and retired in 1993 to the UK. He has six children and many grandchildren. In 2004 he was given the Freedom of Altrincham and was President of the Altrincham and Bowden Civic Society as well as being a staunch supporter of the Royal British Legion and the Korean Veterans’ Association. He has visited South Korea twice in the last year and ben awarded their highest honour of which he is very proud.
Peter Norton GC was born on 10th December 1962 in Edmonton, London. He joined the Army in January 1983, qualifying as an Ammunition Technician in 1984. In November 1998 he promoted to WO1 (SSM) and in May 2002 he was appointed WO1 Conductor RLC. Shortly thereafter, in July 2002, he received a late-entry commission into the RLC, in the rank of Captain, as an Ammunition Technical Officer. Following an initial appointment managing air-to-ground weapons systems he assumed, in 2004, the role of second-in-command of 721 EOD Squadron, 11 EOD Regiment RLC. He later deployed to Baghdad as the Deputy Commander of the Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell where, on 24 July 2005, his GC action took place. Pete spent two years recovering from his very severe injuries and returned to work in July 2007 at the Defence Academy of the UK where he read for an MSc in Explosive Ordnance Engineering. He remained at the Defence Academy as a lecturer, promoting to Major in 2008, eventually retiring from the Army in 2013. Pete succeeded Jim Beaton GC as the Chairman of the VC and GC Association in October 2014.
The Victoria Cross and George Cross Association is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), registered with the Charities Commission (Reg No 1162742). The registered objectives of the VC and GC Association include: