See the February issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new gallantry article

  • 1 February, 2023
  • Bravery
  • Britain at War
  • Medals

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 February issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Chief Petty Officer Ernest Herbert Pitcher VC, DSM, who was awarded his decorations for courage during the First World War.

Pitcher, who was born in Mullion, Cornwall, served in the Royal Navy during the 1914-18 conflict as a crew member on Q-ships. These vessels were Britain’s answer to German U-boats as Q-ships were armed decoys disguised to look like merchant ships.

In a dramatic incident in August 1917, the Q-ship Dunraven was attacked by a U-boat and it took heavy casualties. Pitcher’s courage, staying at his post under a heavy fire, saw him awarded the VC for his gallantry in an action that could easily have cost him his life.

He survived the war and later called both his home and his daughter “Dunraven” in the years after the war. He eventually died in hospital in Sherborne, Dorset, in February 1946, aged 58.

Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past nine years have been largely based on excerpts from his seven books on gallantry: Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes, Heroes of the Skies, Special Ops Heroes, Victoria Cross Heroes Volume II and Falklands War Heroes.

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 February issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.

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