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 April issue of magazine has four pages on the life and career of Company Sergeant Major Peter Harold Wright VC.
Farmer’s son Wright, who was born in Mettingham, Suffolk, initially planned a career in the police force but he changed his mind and enlisted in the Coldstream Guards in October 1936, later joining the 3rd Battalion. He served in Egypt and Palestine as a lance corporal from 1937-9.
After the outbreak of the Second World War, Wright proved to be a daring and courageous frontline soldier, being wounded – above the eye – during fighting in Tobruk, Libya. His wound required hospital treatment
Wright received his VC for bravery during heavy fighting at Salerno, Italy, on September 25, 1943, when he single-handedly attacked three enemy Spandau posts, silencing each one with a ferocious hand-grenade and bayonet assault before going on to perform other brave deeds later that day.
His VC – the only one for Salerno – was only announced on September 7 1944 after King George VI pressed for his original Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) to be elevated to a Victoria Cross.
Wright survived the war and eventually died in Ipswich Hospital, Suffolk, on April 5 1990, aged 73. Lord Ashcroft purchased his medal group privately in 2015.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past six 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.
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 April issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.