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Before the Crimean War, there was no official standardised system for recognition of gallantry within the British armed forces.Officers were eligible for an award of one of the junior grades of the Order of the Bath and brevet promotions while a Mention in Despatches existed as an alternative award for acts of lesser gallantry.Constantine's conquering cross replaced the anchor as a source of encouragement to believers in troubled waters., or "in the Lord"—which disappeared as Christians chose Latin over Greek as their primary language.Whatever the case, the anchor did not reappear until the 1600s, when it experienced a two-century renaissance, particularly as a symbol engraved on tombs.A number of public and private collections are devoted to the Victoria Cross.The private collection of Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains over one-tenth of all VCs awarded.Such expressions as , or "peace be with you" speak to the hope Christians felt in their anticipation of heaven.Archaeologists found about 70 examples of these kinds of messages in one cemetery alone.
Only 15 medals, 11 to members of the British Army, and four to the Australian Army, have been awarded since the Second World War.
This structure was very limited; in practice awards of the Order of the Bath were confined to officers of field rank.
Other European countries had awards that did not discriminate against class or rank; France awarded the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour, established 1802) and The Netherlands gave the Order of William (established in 1815).
If I'm a first century Christian and I'm hiding in the catacombs and three of my best friends have just been thrown to the lions or burned at the stake, or crucified and set ablaze as torches at one of [Emperor] Nero's garden parties, the symbol that most encourages me in my faith is the anchor.
When I see it, I'm reminded that Jesus is my anchor." Christian use of the anchor echoed Hebrews : "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." (NIV) Epitaphs on believers' tombs dating as far back as the end of the first century frequently displayed anchors alongside messages of hope.
I have heard [the Christian musician] Michael Card say that the anchor was a primary Christian symbol until about 400 AD. As Michael Card observes in his recent album, : "The first century symbol wasn't the cross; it was the anchor.