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 edition of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Second Lieutenant Sidney Woodroffe, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for courage during the Great War.
Woodroffe, who was born in Lewes, Sussex, was just 19 when he displayed outstanding bravery on July 30 1915, while serving with the 8th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade, in trenches at Hooge, east of Ypres, Belgium.
After the enemy had gained territory by using flame throwers for the first time in the conflict, Woodrofe and his men launched a courageous counter attack but the young officer was killed as he tried to cut barbed wire in no-man’s land so that the attack gained momentum. His posthumous VC was announced on September 6 1915 and the medal was later presented by George V to his parents, who eventually lost three of their four sons during the war.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past three years have been largely based on excerpts from four of his books on gallantry: Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes and Heroes of the Skies. His fifth bravery book, Special Ops Heroes, was published in November 2014.
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.