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 December issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Lieutenant Wilbur Dartnell, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for courage during the Great War.
Dartnell, who was born in Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia, had originally served during the Boer War but he, and other Australians living in South Africa, volunteered their services after the outbreak of the Great War, and Dartnell served with the Royal Fusiliers in East Africa.
Aged 30, Dartnell showed outstanding bravery near Maktau, East Africa, in September 1915 when, after being wounded, he insisted on being left behind in order to try to protect some of the black troops who he feared would be slaughtered by the enemy. In fact, Dartnell was killed as he unsuccessfully tried to prevent the butchery and he was awarded a posthumous VC.
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 December issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.