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 December issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Major Alexander Malins Lafone VC, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War.
Lafone was born in Liverpool, although his family was originally from France. After initially training as an electrical engineer, his military career began in December 1899 when he joined the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry, serving in South Africa in 1900 during the Second Boer War.
However, he was awarded his VC for outstanding leadership and bravery during the First World War, while taking part in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign in October 1917. He held his position against a vastly superior enemy force for more than seven hours.
Despite withdrawing his depleted force, he was eventually surrounded, only to step into the open and continue the fight until he was mortally wounded, aged 47.
Lafone’s posthumous VC for his courageous last stand was announced in December 1917 and it was presented to his brother by King George V at an investiture at Buckingham Palace in March 1918.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past five years have been largely based on excerpts from his six books on gallantry: Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes, Heroes of the Skies, Special Ops Heroes and Victoria Cross Heroes Volume II.
For the foreseeable future, Lord Ashcroft’s “hero of the month” articles will concentrate on men who were awarded the VC during the First World War. Lord Ashcroft is a military historian who has lectured extensively on courage and his various medal collections.
- Lord Ashcroft’s latest article appears in the December issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.