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 the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Colonel John Duncan Grant, VC, CB, DSO, who was awarded the only VC for the Tibet campaign.
Grant, who was born in Rurki, India, and who was usually known as “Jack”, was from a military family. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant (unattached) in January 1898, aged 20.
From 1903-4, Grant served in Tibet at a time when tensions in the country were running high and the British government in India was determined to assert its authority.
In July 1904, Grant, then a lieutenant, led a daring assault on a mountainside fort thereby having the unusual distinction of displaying his gallantry at the highest altitude of any VC action in the decoration’s 165-year-history. He was on the Tibet Plateau at a height of around 15,000 feet.
Grant received his VC from King Edward VII in July 1905. He went on to serve during the Great War. He retired in the rank of colonel in 1929. He died at a nursing home in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in February 1967, aged 89.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past eight 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.