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 August issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Sergeant Henry Dalziel VC. Dalziel was born in North Queensland, Australia, and he enlisted in into the Australian Imperial Force in 1915, aged 21.
Dalziel, a no-nonsense soldier, was awarded his VC for bravery on July 4 1918 at the Battle of Hamel in northern France, when aged 24. Having already showed great courage in battle, he rushed an enemy machine-gun post, killing or capturing the entire crew.
During this action, while in the rank of private, he was severely wounded in the hand and his skull was so badly smashed that his brain was exposed. These injuries, unsurprisingly, ended his front line career – he had, in fact been injured no less than 32 times during the war.
Dalziel’s VC, the 1000th ever to be awarded, was announced on August 17 1918, and he received his VC from George V at an investiture at Buckingham Palace on December 13 1918. Dalziel eventually died in Brisbane on July 24 1965, aged 72.
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 August issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.