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 January issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Lieutenant Colonel Philip Bent VC, DSO, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War.
Bent was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, but he moved to Britain, with his mother, when he was aged 12. He enlisted in the Army in October 1914, serving initially as a private in the 1st City of Edinburgh Battalion, Royal Scots.
In May 1917, having been wounded in battle the previous year, Bent led his unit into action for the first time at Bullecourt, France. His courage and leadership skill were rewarded with a second Mentioned in Dispatches (MiD) in May and the award of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in June.
Bent’s VC action took place in Belgium, on October 1, 1917 during the Battle of Passchendaele. He led a successful counter attack but was killed while leading a charge against the enemy. He died aged 26, as one of the youngest men to hold the rank of lieutenant colonel. His VC was announced on January 11, 1918.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past five years have been largely based on excerpts from his six books on gallantry: Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes, Heroes of the Skies, Special Ops Heroes and Victoria Cross Heroes Volume II.
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 January issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.