Angus Buchanan (VC)
11 September 1894|
|Died||1 March 1944
|Buried at||Coleford Cemetery|
|Years of service||1914 – 1917|
|Unit||South Wales Borderers|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards|| Victoria Cross
Order of St. Vladimir 4th Class with Swords (Russia)
Angus Buchanan, VC MC (11 August 1894 – 1 March 1944) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Buchanan was the son of a doctor from Coleford, Gloucestershire. He was educated at Monmouth School, where he was head boy. In 1913 he went to Jesus College, Oxford to study Classics. One of his tutors described him as "Thoroughly Scotch and rather reserved, but a hard worker & likely to be a good influence in the Coll[ege]". He rowed for the College in 1914, played rugby and was Secretary of the Athletics Club. He then joined the army, where he served in Gallipoli and Mesopotamia. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1916, and was mentioned four times in despatches.
Award of the Victoria Cross
Buchanan was 21 years old, and a temporary captain in the 4th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place on 5 April 1916 at Falauyah Lines, Mesopotamia, for which he was awarded the VC. The award was announced in a supplement to the London Gazette of 26 September 1916, and read:
War Office, 26th September, 1916.
His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officers, Non-commissioned Officers and Men:—
Lt. (temp. Capt.) Angus Buchanan, S. Wales Bord.
For most conspicuous bravery. During an attack an officer was lying out in the open severely wounded about 150 yards from cover. Two men went to his assistance and one of them was hit at once. Captain Buchanan, on seeing this, immediately went out and, with the help of the other man, carried the wounded officer to cover under heavy machine gun fire. He then returned and brought in the wounded man, again under heavy fire.
A newsreel film shows him being invested with the Victoria Cross and the Military Cross at a ceremony on Durdham Downs, Bristol, by King George V on 8 November 1917. In July 1916 he was also awarded the Russian decoration of the Order of St. Vladimir 4th Class (with Swords).
Buchanan was shot in the head in 1917 by a sniper and blinded. He returned to Jesus College after the war and read law, rowing for the college in 1919 despite his blindness. After graduating in 1921, he worked in a solicitor's office in Oxford before returning to Coleford to work until his death in 1944. He returned to Monmouth School in 1921 for the ceremony marking the dedication of the school's war memorial. Funds were raised in Coleford to mark his bravery, which he asked to be used to give children somewhere to play. He is buried in Coleford Cemetery, next to the recreation field named in his honour. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the South Wales Borderers Museum in Brecon.
- "Coleford People - Angus Buchanan" (contains photographs of Buchanan and his medals). Retrieved 2007-07-15.
- "History of the CCF at Monmouth School: A Brief History" (contains a photograph of Buchanan laying a wreath at the war memorial in 1921). Monmouth School. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
- Dunhill, Rosemary (2006). "From the Archives: A Jesus College VC" (pdf). Jesus College Newsletter (Trinity Term). Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
- The London Gazette: . 2 June 1916. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- The London Gazette: . 11 July 1916. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- The London Gazette: . 17 October 1916. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- The London Gazette: . 26 September 1916. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- The London Gazette: . 15 May 1917. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- "Grave locations for holders of the Victoria Cross in the County of Gloucestershire" (contains a photograph of his grave). Archived from the original on 22 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-15.