AN EXTRAORDINARY former Monmouth pupil who was awarded the Victoria Cross was remembered in a special Armistice Day service on Monday.

Captain Angus Buchanan served in the 4th Battalion, South Wales Borderers during the First World War.


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The former Monmouth School head boy, from Coleford, was awarded Britain’s highest military decoration for bravery for his heroic deeds while fighting in Mesopotamia (nowadays Iraq) 1916.

On April 5, as the London Gazette recorded at the time, 21-year-old Captain Buchanan rescued two wounded comrades by running out, “under heavy machine gun fire”, across 150 yards of open ground.

He pulled the first man to safety and then returned for the second. He was also awarded the Military Cross for his actions.

Sadly, Captain Buchanan was to be seriously injured later in the war, when a sniper’s bullet struck him in the head, blinding him.

But in a remarkable tale of perseverance, Captain Buchanan returned home and after the war resumed his studies at Oxford University, where he read law and rowed for Jesus College.

Captain Buchanan opened Monmouth School’s war memorial in 1919, dedicated to the 76 former pupils who died in the war. The school has a boarding house named in his honour.

After graduating in 1921, he worked in a solicitor’s office in Oxford before returning to his family home in Coleford in the Forest of Dean to work until his death in 1944.

At Monday’s service, guests gathered for the re-dedication of the school’s war memorial and the unveiling of a new plaque unveiled in honour of Captain Buchanan.