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 issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Captain Angus Buchanan, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for courage during the Great War.
Buchanan was born in Coleford, Gloucestershire, and grew up in the small market town before winning a classical scholarship to Jesus College, Oxford. In November 1914, he was commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant into the 4th Battalion, South Wales Borderers.
In June 1915, Buchanan left for Gallipoli where, after being promoted to lieutenant, he was wounded in battle. After another promotion to temporary captain, Buchanan was awarded the Military Cross (MC) for bravery in January 1916.
However, it was for courage in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) in April 1916 that Captain Buchanan was awarded the VC after saving two comrades from no-man’s land. He was wounded in the arm later that day.
Buchanan was wounded on a third occasion in September 1916 and then a fourth – this time more seriously – in February 1917 when a sniper’s bullet hit his head and he lost his sight in both eyes. This meant he had to be led by his arm when, aged 23, he received his VC from George V at an investiture in November 1917. Buchanan, who was known affectionately as “the blind VC”, led a full life but died from complications as a result of his injuries in March 1944, aged 49.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past four 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.