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 11 of 12 is the most recent in the series and the theme this month was “All-Arms Battles”, looking at how the leassons learnt from the war’s past failures and triumphs, combined with new weapons and tactics, were employed to steer the Allies towards victory.
The article Lord Ashcroft wrote for inclusion in this instalment was the story of Captain Angus Buchanan, “ the blind VC”, and one of the most remarkable recipients ever of Britain and the Commonwealth’s most prestigious gallantry award for bravery in the face of the enemy.
At the investiture, Buchanan, then 23, had both the Victoria Cross (VC) and the Military Cross (MC) pinned on his chest by the King, as a result of two separate acts of bravery during the early years of the Great War. After shaking the King’s hand and saluting him, Buchanan was led down the steps away from the royal dais by his guide, to loud cheering from the crowd.
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.