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 November issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Captain Harold Ackroyd VC, MC, MD, who was decorated for bravery during the First World War.
Ackroyd, who was born in Southport, Lancashire, was an unlikely hero in that he was bespectacled, had a stooped walk and served beyond the age of 40.
Yet, during his service with the Royal Army Medical Corps, he was twice put forward for the VC, with the first recommendation being downgraded to the Military Cross (MC) in 1916.
In the summer of 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres (also known as known as the Battle of Passchendaele), Ackroyd showed incredible bravery saving countless of lives under heavy machine-gun, rifle and shell fire.
He survived that bloody battle but, before his VC could be announced in September 1917, he was dead: killed, aged 40, on August 11 1917 by a sniper’s bullet at Jargon Trench.
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.
• Lord Ashcroft’s latest article appears in the November issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.