Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC is sponsoring a monthly 16-page supplement on WW1, called Inside the First World War, which is free with the Sunday Telegraph and is released on the first Sunday of each month.
Part 10 of 12 is the most recent in the series and the theme this month was “Tommy’s War”. The article Lord Ashcroft wrote for inclusion in this instalment was the story of Private George Peachment, who was among the youngest to receive the Victoria Cross, Britain and the Commonwealth’s most prestigious gallantry award, during the First World War.
Peachment, a barber’s son, was born near Bury, Lancashire, on May 5, 1897. After schooling, he became an apprentice ﬁtter at Ashworth & Parker, and later at a second Bury ﬁrm, JH Riley. On April 19, 1915, he enlisted into the 5th Battalion, King’s Royal Riﬂe Corps, falsely giving his age as 19 years and one month (he was only 17 years and 11 months old). Peachment wore his father’s bowler hat to make himself look older than he was (a soldier had to be 19 to serve overseas).
See all instalments of the Sunday Telegraph supplement, Inside the First World War here.
Lord Ashcroft’s VC collection is on display at the Imperial War Museum and is currently 183-strong. As well as his VC collection, Lord Ashcroft has a major Special Forces’ medals’ collection and a substantial collection of decorations awarded for gallantry in the air. In 2010, he also started collecting George Crosses (GCs) for the first time and currently owns 11 awards.
Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC is a Tory peer, businessman, philanthropist and author. He is a military historian who had written four books on bravery over the past eight years. He has also lectured extensively on courage and his various medal collections.
All the articles Lord Ashcroft is writing for the supplements are based on expanded excerpts from his four books on gallantry: Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes and Heroes of the Skies. Furthermore, the vast majority of the write-ups are based on gallantry medals owned by him.
Follow him on Twitter: @LordAshcroft