Medals

See the June issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

By Lord Ashcroft

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 June issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Captain Gerald O’Sullivan, who was awarded the VC for bravery during the First World Warf.

O’Sullivan, who was born in Co Cork, was commissioned into the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1909. During the First World War, he served with the 1st Iniskillings that were chosen for duties in the Dardanelles. (more…)

Crack shot who took out 17 Germans with his rifle – then picked up his Bren gun…

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Mail on Sunday on 24 May 2020.

One of 40 British troops who held off 500 enemy, his courage saved countless lives at Dunkirk – and won the war’s first Army VC.

IT WAS Britain’s lowest point of the Second World War. Amid scenes of chaos and desperation, and under a relentless assault from bombs, mortars and gunfire, our Armed Forces, helped by civilians with boats, were tasked with rescuing well over 300,000 servicemen from a small French harbour.

They say that when the going gets tough, the tough get going and, at the height of Operation Dynamo, as the rescue mission was called, no one showed more grit, determination and courage than Captain Marcus Ervine- Andrews. (more…)

Seventeen minutes that made our SAS the most feared fighters in the world

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Express on 05 May 2020.

Forty years on, respected military historian LORD ASHCROFT on the thrilling special forces operation to end the Iranian Embassy siege.

It was 10pm and Britain’s first woman Prime Minister was in the middle of a group of rugged SAS soldiers in jubilant spirits, sipping chilled beers. In a packed room at the Regent’s Park Barracks in central London, a television was wheeled in so everyone could watch the late news.

“****ing sit down, Maggie. I can’t see,” said Lance Corporal John “Mac” McAleese, a rock-hard Scot prone to colourful language.

For a moment, there was an awkward hush. It was not the way Margaret Thatcher was usually addressed. But she simply did as she was told and sat down cross-legged on the floor. Her husband, Denis, was nearby. (more…)

In This Together

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Express on 04 May 2020.

This Friday’s VE Day anniversary plans may have changed – but we can still celebrate the values of courage, perseverance and love.
Let us learn the lessons from our past and mark this day with remembrance and reconciliation.

I was conceived shortly after VE Day. Perhaps that’s not surprising: my parents and the country had plenty to celebrate, personally and collectively.

My father Eric, a young officer serving in The South Lancashire Regiment, had survived the war despite being wounded during the D-Day Landings. My mother, Rene, who had worked as a Red Cross nurse, met my father when he was convalescing from his injuries. (more…)

The last Victoria Cross hero before VE Day who was so brave even the enemy marvelled

By Lord Ashcroft

This article was first published in the Mail on Sunday on 03 May 2020.

LORD ASHCROFT salutes a soldier who launched a one-man charge firing a machine-gun from his hip to save comrades in a Nazi ambush.

By late April 1945, the German army was in retreat and, after nearly six long years of war, the Allies were finally poised to defeat Adolf Hitler. For many British servicemen, particularly those who had served for all or most of the Second World War, thoughts inevitably turned to surviving the last battles and returning safely to their loved ones.

Yet for one man, Guardsman Edward Charlton of the Irish Guards, his finest hour was yet to come. For just days before Hitler’s suicide and, later, Germany’s surrender, he would display such outstanding bravery that he would be awarded the final Victoria Cross (VC) of the war in Europe. (more…)

See the May issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

By Lord Ashcroft

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 May issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Brevet Major John Knox VC, who was decorated with the Victoria Cross (VC) for great bravery during the Crimean War.

Knox, who was born in Calton, Glasgow, enlisted into the Scots Fusilier Guards in Glasgow in May 1843, aged 14, having run away from home. By the time he arrived in the Crimea in September 1954, he was serving in the rank of colour sergeant. (more…)

Blue Grit

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in The Sun on Thursday, 16 April 2020.

NHS workers’ priority today is to save lives — for the nation it is giving frontline staff the protection, equipment and support they need to do their jobs.

Once the crisis is under control, the Queen and Government must reflect on making a significant gesture of thanks towards the NHS.Within days of winning his fight for life, Boris Johnson described our health service as “the country’s greatest national asset”, its “beating heart” and “powered by love”.My response was to write an open letter to the Prime Minister suggesting how the nation might show its huge gratitude when the time is right.

My belief is that, for only the third time in 80 years, our monarch should bestow a collective George Cross on the NHS. (more…)

An Open Letter to Boris Johnson

By Lord Ashcroft

Dear Boris,

I just wanted to send you my very best wishes as you recover from coronavirus. After watching your video address to the nation on Easter Sunday, I tweeted a link to it with just a single word: “Fantastic.”

I am so relieved that you are out of hospital and out of danger, and I thought your generous words of praise for the NHS echoed the gratitude of the country towards the astonishing dedication of frontline staff. You were spot-on to describe the NHS as the “country’s greatest national asset”, “the beating heart of this country” and “powered by love”.

In fact, it is the subject of the NHS that I would like to address in my letter. As you know only too well from our discussions over the years, I have a passion for bravery, in general, and gallantry awards, in particular. (more…)

Recognise the courage of those at forefront of battle against coronavirus

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Mirror on 03 April 2020.

During the “Blitz”, the bombing campaign by Germany targeting mainland Britain during 1940-1, our monarch realised that we did not have a way of sufficiently rewarding the courage of our civilian bomb disposal teams.

This was because the Victoria Cross (VC) could only be awarded for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

George VI and his advisors were quick to respond, creating the George Cross (GC) in September 1940 for “most conspicuous courage in circumstance of extreme danger”. The GC, which became affectionately known as “the civilian VC”, will celebrate its 80th anniversary later this year. (more…)

See the April issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

By Lord Ashcroft

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 four pages on the life and career of Major Peter Norton, who was decorated with the George Cross (GC) for outstanding bravery in Iraq. (more…)