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 March issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Acting Captain Allastair Malcolm Cluny McReady-Diarmid, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War.
McReady-Diarmid (as he was known at the time of his death) was born in New Southgate, London. After receiving officer training, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in March 1915, initially into the 4th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own).
He was awarded his Victoria Cross (VC) for courage on the Western Front when he led several counter-attacks against the enemy on November 30 and December 1 1917, while serving with the 17th (Service) Battalion, Middlesex Regiment (1st Football).
As a superb bomb-thrower and leader, he three times drove the enemy back during those two days before being himself killed by a bomb, aged 29. His posthumous VC was announced on March 15 1918 and his widow, Hilda, later received his decoration from George V.
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 March issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.