Medals

Untold story: the parents who lost all four sons in the First World War

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Telegraph Magazine on Saturday 11 November 2017.

In 1914, four brothers went to fight in the First World War. None came home. Here, to mark Armistice Day, 
Michael Ashcroft tells the heartbreaking story of the gallantry and sacrifice of one Scottish family.

On a grey March evening nearly 100 years ago, close to a sunken road in the Somme valley, Acting Lieutenant Colonel William Herbert Anderson – or Bertie, as he was affectionately known to his family and friends – led his men the only way he knew how: from the front. (more…)

Why those corners of a foreign field are forever immaculate

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Mail on 08 November 2017

Under a warm, late-afternoon sun, I gently placed my wreath at the base of Captain Arthur Henderson’s gravestone at the immaculately kept Cojeul British Cemetery in northern France.

As the proud custodian of Captain Henderson’s medal group, which I bought at auction for my collection of war medals, I had long wanted to pay my respects to this noble soldier. (more…)

The Bravest of the Brave

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in Airsoft Action Magazine on 19 October 2017.

My interest in bravery dates back more than 60 years to when I was a small boy. My late father, Eric, was a modest man but, when I was about ten, he finally agreed to tell me about his own role in the Second World War.

After war broke out in September 1939, he was one of the first young men to enlist, joining the South Lancashire Regiment. However, he did not see action until the summer of 1944, when he arrived on Sword Beach as part of the D-Day landings. (more…)

Time to shoot down these unfair myths

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Mail on 16 October 2017

Ask anyone what first comes to mind when they think of someone who has just left the Armed Forces and you will rightly hear some very positive things: leadership, discipline, comradeship, selflessness, loyalty, even heroism. (more…)

Annual update on Veterans’ Transition Review released

By lordashcroft.com

The public overestimates the extent of serious problems faced by former Armed Forces personnel, according to new research from Lord Ashcroft, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Veterans’ Transition.

New research finds public overestimates extent of mental health and other problems among former Service personnel

Annual update on Veterans’ Transition Review finds progress, but uneven delivery throughout the UK – especially Northern Ireland

(more…)

See the October edition of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

By lordashcroft.com

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 October issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Private William Boynton Butler, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War.

(more…)

The incredible bravery that will unite a town honouring its Great War hero

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Express on 28 September 2017

A century ago, amidst the horrors of the muddy Flanders fields, Lt Col Philip Bent was preparing for his final stand near Polygon Wood, Belgium.

Two months into the Third Battle of Ypres (later better known as the Battle of Passchendaele), and having been forced back by a sustained enemy counter-attack, Bent rallied his men close to the town of Zonnebeke. (more…)

The touching wartime romance that grew from letters exchanged between a British PoW and his best friend’s sister

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Mail on 21 September 2017.

His neat, hand-written letters are kept in a century-old wooden chest under a dressing table. Written using pen and paper obtained from his German prison guards, they provide a fascinating insight into a wartime romance between an heroic soldier who came back from the dead and his best friend’s sister.

Today Peggy Maher, the recipient of the letters and now a sprightly 94 years old, wipes away a tear as she recalls how the notes and post cards, all written more than 70 years ago, eventually led to a lifetime of happiness, once the British PoW who had penned them was finally released after nearly five years in captivity. (more…)

See the September edition of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

By lordashcroft.com

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 September issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Private George Imlach McIntosh, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War. (more…)

Centenary of the death of Captain Noel Chavasse VC & Bar, MC

By lordashcroft.com

Friday, August 4 2017, was the centenary of the death of Captain Noel Chavasse VC & Bar MC, one of the bravest soldiers who has ever lived.

Captain Chavasse, a doctor who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), was the only man to be awarded the VC and Bar – the equivalent of two VCs – during the Great War.

(more…)