It is my view that in the years prior to the First World War, many soldiers would seek out actions that may ultimately result in the awarding of the Victoria Cross.
In Thomas Henry Kavanagh’s personal account of his actions during the Indian Mutiny he says:
‘In undertaking this enterprise, I was actuated by a sense of duty, believing that I could be of use to His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief when approaching for the relief of the besieged garrison, which had heroically resisted the attack of thirty times its own number for nearly five months within a weak and irregular entrenchment; and secondly, because I was anxious to perform some service which would ensure to me the honour of wearing our Most Gracious Majesty’s Cross.’
This is just one example.
Here is a full transcript of his account.