If your family does not have a Memorial Cross, there may be an opportunity to receive one, but only if you take action.
The Memorial Cross (Silver Cross) was traditionally awarded to the mother or widow of a soldier who either died during battle, or shortly thereafter as a result of injury from battle.
In 2001, the requirements were changed so that other family members (ie children & siblings) as well as the mother or spouse, could receive the award. Even if the veterans died after their service ended, as long as death could be attributed to an injury or medical condition acquired during military service, a the Cross could be awarded. Shortly thereafter, it was determined that all HK veterans were qualified because of the conditions and punishment they endured as a POW. If it was established that death was not an accident, or related to a cause for which the veteran did not receive a pension, then the veteran’s family could receive the Cross. Many families applied and received the Memorial Cross.
In 2008, the policy changed again. Now, applications must come from a parent or a surviving spouse. Other family members are no longer allowed to apply, thus eliminating the opportunity for most of the families of HK veterans.
The National Council of Veteran’s Association (NCVA), is an association of 60+ veterans associations that has supported the HK vets over the years. The NCVA has been very successful at lobbying the government to made changes so that veterans are justly compensated in relation to military pensions and benefits. The NCVA Executive feel that any changes to the 2008 Military Cross policy should have been “grandfathered” to preserved the right for any sibling, child, or grandchild of HK Veterans to apply.
Here comes the point! NVCA will undertake the objective to push for the reinstatement of the right for HK families to apply, but only if there is sufficient interest. Consider also that the greater time that elaspes, the NVCA will not likely be able to act. This could be your last chance to try.
To determine if there is sufficient interest for the NVCA to pursue it, numbers are needed. Thus far we are aware of only one. If any sibling, child, or grandchild is interested, please contact me in writing either by email (MemorialCross@bell.net) or post (H.K.V.C.A., Suite # 164, 1861 Robertson Road, Nepean, ON, K2H 1B9)
National Council of Veterans Associations