Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest article published in his bravery series for Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.
The theme of the series is Lord Ashcroft’s “hero of the month” and for the foreseeable future he will be concentrating on writing about men who were awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) during the First World War.
The December edition of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Drummer Spencer “Joe” Bent. He repeatedly showed great courage in the early months of the Great War, including on the night of November 1/2 1914, holding a trench near Le Gheer, Belgium, that the Germans thought had been abandoned.
Bent’s VC was announced on December 9 1914 when his citation in The London Gazette identified four separate acts of bravery. By this point, Bent was back in Britain recovering from serious wounds received on the battlefield.
Bent survived the war and was demobbed in the rank of regimental sergeant major. He died in his sleep in Hackney, London on May 3, 1977, aged 86.
Lord Ashcroft is a military historian who had written five books on bravery over the past nine years. He has also lectured extensively on courage and his various medal collections.
His articles for Britain at War over the past two years have been largely based on excerpts from Lord Ashcroft’s four books on gallantry: Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes and Heroes of the Skies. His fifth gallantry book, Special Ops Heroes, was published on November 6, 2014.
* Lord Ashcroft’s article appears in the December issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.