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 12 of 12 is the most recent in the series and the theme this month was “Understanding History”, which looked at the transformative nature of the conflict – for women, artists, Germany and the class-based society.
The article Lord Ashcroft wrote for inclusion in this instalment was the story of Acting Lt Col Richard West, who’s bravery was matched only by his leadership skills, which saw him earn no fewer than four gallantry awards in 1918.
By the time that both the Bar to his DSO and his MC has been announced, West had eclipsed both by earning a posthumous Victoria Cross (VC) through his outstanding gallantry on August 21 and again on September 2, when he died on the battlefield.
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.