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 June issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Captain Gerald O’Sullivan, who was awarded the VC for bravery during the First World War.
O’Sullivan, who was born in Co Cork, was commissioned into the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1909. During the First World War, he served with the 1st Iniskillings that were chosen for duties in the Dardanelles.
He successfully landed at X Beach, Gallipoli, on April 25, 1915, but it was for two significant actions in June and July that he was awarded the VC. In the first action, he led a daring attack to recover a fire-trench that had been lost to the enemy. The ferocious fighting was spread over two days.
In his second action, this time in the Battle of Gully Ravine, O’Sullivan again led his men during heavy and prolonged fighting, being wounded in the leg.
Yet, O’Sullivan was back in the frontline within weeks but, after learning he was to receive the VC, he was killed in action trying to take “Hill 70” on August 21 1915. He was aged 26 and his posthumous VC was officially announced just over a week later on September 1.
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 June issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.