See the September issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

  • 1 September, 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 September issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Lieutenant-Colonel Mahmood Durrani, who was awarded the George Cross (GC) for incredible courage during the Second World War.

Mahmood Khan Durrani was born in Multan City, Western Punjab, India (now part of Pakistan), in July 1914. During the early 1930s, he was recruited into the Nawab of Bahawalpur’s forces, the intention being for him to join the Nawab’s bodyguard.

After the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, Durrani continued to serve in the military. From 1941, he served in Malaya, where in 1942 he was captured by the Japanese and taken as a Prisoner of War (PoW).

For months, Durrani underwent brutal interrogation and torture as his captors tried to force him to reveal the identities of his accomplices, who had been hiding him for three months after the Japanese overran Malaya. He remained a PoW for the rest of the war, being treated appallingly but never revealing any information that was useful to the enemy.

He was awarded the GC in May 1946, and he later wrote about his wartime ordeal in his autobiography. He died in his home city of Multan in August 1995, aged 81.

Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past ten 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.

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