About The Book
Victoria Cross Heroes Volume II will provide extraordinary accounts of the bravery behind the newest additions to Lord Ashcroft’s VC collection – those purchased in the last decade. It is the follow-up to Victoria Cross Heroes, first published in 2006 to mark the 150th anniversary of the VC.
Courageous soldiers, sailors and airmen will feature in the new book. Lord Ashcroft now owns 200 VCs and his latest book tells of the real-life courage behind many of these decorations.
The stories will span from the Crimean War, which led to the creation of the VC in 1856, to the Second World War. Other major wars and conflicts that will be covered include the First World War (1914-18), the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and the Indian Mutiny (1857-58).
Sepoy (later Subadar) Khudadad Khan
Sepoy (later Subadar) Khudadad Khan was the first Muslim
and the first Indian to be awarded the VC.
His award was for outstanding bravery on October 31 1914 during the first Battle of Ypres when, aged 26, he manned a Maxim gun despite serious wounds. As the German shells reined down on six Allied soldiers, Khan continued to fight on. Eventually, Khan’s five comrades were all killed but he managed to put his machine-gun out of action and feign death, before escaping. Badly injured, he crawled back in order to receive medical aid. Khan spent several weeks in hospital but he received his VC from George V at an investiture at Buckingham Palace in January 1915. Khan survived the war and eventually died in Pakistan in 1971, aged 82. Lord Ashcroft believes the contribution of Muslims to the war effort and to other global conflicts must
never be forgotten.
Captain Noel Chavasse
Chavasse is one of only three men to be awarded a VC and Bar
- the equivalent to a second VC.
Chavasse, who was one of twins, served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was thrice decorated during the Great War: on the first occasion he was awarded his VC for great courage on August 9 1916 at the Battle of Guillemont when it was estimated that he saved the lives of some 20 seriously-wounded men by repeatedly going into no-man’s land under a heavy fire. The Bar to his VC was a posthumous award for his bravery from July 31 to August 2 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres. Once again, Chavasse went into no-man’s land to search for and attend the wounded. However, he received several serious injuries during the three days and he died from his battlefield wounds on August 4 1917, aged 32.
Commander Loftus Jones
Commander Loftus Jones, arguably the finest Royal Navy VC of the First World War.
He received his award for remarkable bravery during the Battle of Jutland when his ship, the destroyer Shark, came under a heavy and sustained enemy attack. Jones led his men courageously despite receiving critical wounds in battle: at one point a German shell blew off his right leg above the knee. Yet, despite being weakened by his own loss of blood and in great pain, he continued to command his ship and crew. Jones died on May 31 1916, aged 36: he was not one of the six rescued survivors from Shark’s 91-strong complement. Jones’s VC was awarded posthumously after his widow, Margaret, carried out extensive research into her husband’s bravery. His VC was presented to Margaret Jones by George V at an investiture at Buckingham Palace in March 1917.
Victoria Cross Heroes Volume II
Published by Biteback Publishing, the book is available from November 8 2016. It has two principle aims: to champion acts of great bravery and to raise money for charity. All author’s royalties are being donated to military charities.Buy the book