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 September issue of the magazine has a three-page write-up on the life and bravery of Company Quartermaster-Sergeant Alexander Brereton, who was born in Manitoba, Canada, in November 1892.
Brereton was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery on August 9 1918 while serving with the 8th Battalion, Manitoba Regiment, at the Battle of Amiens in France.
Brereton’s platoon was ambushed at Hatchet Wood to the east of Amiens. Realising that an enemy machine-gun post would annihilate his comrades, he rushed the post, shot the soldier operating the gun, bayoneted the next man and then nine others surrendered to him.
His VC was announced on September 27 1918 and the next month he received his decoration from George V at investiture at Buckingham Palace. He eventually died in hospital in Calgary, Canada, in June 1976, aged 83.
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 September issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.