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 May issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Brevet Major John Knox VC, who was decorated with the Victoria Cross (VC) for great bravery during the Crimean War.
Knox, who was born in Calton, Glasgow, enlisted into the Scots Fusilier Guards in Glasgow in May 1843, aged 14, having run away from home. By the time he arrived in the Crimea in September 1954, he was serving in the rank of colour sergeant.
For the next nine months, he was involved in several battles but he was essentially awarded the VC for bravery on June 18 1855, during an action at the Redan fort, Sebastopol.
Knox, who was by then a lieutenant and aged 26, fought valiantly despite being twice wounded – on the second occasion a cannon ball damaged his left arm so badly that his limb was later amputated.
Knox survived the war and went on to work as a prison governor. He died at his home in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in January 1897, aged 68.
The sale of Knox’s medal group at a Spink auction in April 2010 created a great deal of media interest – this was because it was one of the first VCs to a serving soldier and because the sale included the Russian cannon ball that had shattered Knox’s arm.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past seven 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 May issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.