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 September issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Major-General George Alexander Renny, who was awarded the VC for bravery during the Indian Mutiny.
Renny, the son of a Scottish merchant, was born in Riga, Russia (now Latvia), in May 1825. He was commissioned into the Bengal Horse Artillery as a second lieutenant in June 1844.
He was awarded the VC for an act of outstanding bravery during a fierce battle for control of a key ammunition storage building in Delhi on September 16 1857. At the height of the fighting, Renny sprang on to the magazine’s burning roof and pelted the enemy with shells, which had been handed to him with their fuzes already burning.
His VC was announced on April 12 1859 and he received his decoration from Queen Victoria at an investiture in Hyde Park in November the following year.
Renny retired from the military in December 1878, with the honorary rank of major-general. He died at his home in Bath on January 5, 1887, aged 61.
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 September issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.