"Memorial finds VC is son of a Chinese gun" was the evocative headline for a story on this day in 1993 that exploded a key myth about the source of metal for the Victoria Cross.
Always believed - and still by many to this day - to be melted down Russian guns seized from Sebastapol during the Crimean war, extensive tests at the Australian War Memorial found the metal was in fact of Chinese origin.
The metallurgical tests found the source metal for the cross was an ancient Chinese alloy, perhaps 100 years older than the Crimean war.
Researcher John Ashton, who worked with conservators at the memorial, told The Canberra Times the legend of the Russian guns had never been seriously challenged.
"Our analysis clearly points to the VC metal being of Chinese, nor European, origin,"
said Ashton, who speculated the Russians at Sebastapol probably captured or stole the guns from the Chinese.
More research on VCs in the UK, including as recently as 2020, has seemed to reinforce the Australian findings, though where the cannons were seized from still seems unconfirmed. Some theories hold that the guns were not even captured in Sebastapol but were in fact trophies seized by Britain directly from China during the Opium Wars.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.