Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.
The June issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Acting Lieutenant Colonel Edward Elers Delaval Henderson, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War.
Henderson was born in Simla, India, on October 2 1878 into a military family. After working briefly as a teaplanter, he joined the 5th (Militia) Battalion, The Worcester Regiment, in May 1900, aged 21. He later transferred to the West India Regiment before serving with the North Staffordshires before and after the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914.
He was awarded the VC for bravery in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) on January 25 1917 during fierce fighting. Despite being wounded in the arm, he jumped on to the parapet and advanced alone some distance in front of his battalion, cheering them on under the most intense fire over 500 yards of open ground. He finally captured the position with a bayonet charge.
However, Henderson had been wounded twice more during the fighting and he died later that day, aged 38, leaving a widow and a son. His posthumous decoration was announced on June 8 1917, when his citation praised the way he had led his men “on in the most gallant manner”.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past five years have been largely based on excerpts from his six books on gallantry: Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes, Heroes of the Skies, Special Ops Heroes and Victoria Cross Heroes Volume II.
For the foreseeable future, Lord Ashcroft’s “hero of the month” articles will concentrate on men who were awarded the VC during the First World War. Lord Ashcroft is a military historian who has lectured extensively on courage and his various medal collections.
- Lord Ashcroft’s latest article appears in the June issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.