The VC who found bravery in blindness

Angus Buchanan became affectionately known as the blind VC.

Born in Coleford in the Forest of Dean, reminders of the man remain in the Angus Buchanan recreation ground and in the stories of the Foresters whose legacies burn beyond their life times.

In November 1917, uniformed Captain Buchanan would stand to the applause of tens of thousands on Durdham Downs in Bristol as he was invested with a Victoria Cross by King George V.  The highest award of bravery the military can bestow was given to this man.

The difference – Angus Buchanan was blind – he had been shot by a sniper in the head.

Some might define him by his actions in 1916 where he was twice commended for his actions in Gallipoli, where unlike many he was wounded and survived, and in Mesopotamia where he saved comrades from no-man’s land.

One cannot write those words without a mental glance, a trick shot image of machine fun fire, of unenviable warfare, of deathly conditions and illness – but these were men of hardy stock.