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 April issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Reginald Frederick Hayward, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War.
Hayward was born and raised in South Africa, where he was a talented sportsman. Two years after coming to Britain in 1912, aged 20, the Great War broke out and Hayward was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the 6th Battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment.
A courageous soldier, he was awarded the Military Cross in 1916 and a Bar to his decoration the following year. However, it was for bravery near Fremicourt, France, in March 1918 that Hayward, by then a captain, was awarded the VC.
Over three days, despite being severely wounded, he refused to leave his company until he collapsed from exhaustion. His VC was announced on April 24 1918 and his citation stated that he had “displayed almost superhuman powers of endurance and consistent courage of the rarest nature.”
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past six years have been partly 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 April issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.