Medals

Hero of the Month by Lord Ashcroft

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in Britain at War in February 2018.

Acting Captain George Henry Tatham Paton VC, MC

George Henry Tatham Paton was born in Innellan, near Dunoon, Argyllshire, on 3 October 1895. He was the only son of Sir George William Paton, who at the time was working for Messrs Ross, Corbett & Co of Greenock. George Paton Snr later became the Deputy Chairman of Bryant & May and was knighted in 1930. George Paton Snr and his wife Henrietta (née Henderson) also had a daughter. (more…)

See the February edition 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 February issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Acting Captain George Henry Tatham Paton VC, MC, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War. (more…)

How one soldier’s valour touched Victoria’s heart

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Express on Thursday, 25 January 2018.

No one could ever doubt the astonishing bravery of young Cornet William Bankes as he three times led a charge against rebel forces during the Indian Mutiny of 1857-8.

During the course of the bloody battle fought near Lucknow, in what was then British India, he was eventually hacked to pieces by the enemy, dying from his inevitably fatal wounds 18 days later. (more…)

Hero of the Month by Lord Ashcroft

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in Britain at War in January 2018.

Lieutenant Colonel Philip Bent VC, DSO: leadership

Philip Eric Bent was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on January 3 1891. He was the youngest of three children born to Frank Bent, a superintendent in the railway mail service, and his English wife, Sophia (née Harvey).

While living in Canada, Philip attended Harrow House School. When he was 12, he came to Britain with his mother and he attended the Royal High School in Edinburgh and, later, Ashby-de-la Zouch Boys’ Grammar School (now Ashby School). In January 1909 and having just turned 18, he joined HMS Conway, the Mersey-based Merchant Navy ship, with a view to pursuing a career at sea. (more…)

See the January 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 January issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Lieutenant Colonel Philip Bent VC, DSO, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War. (more…)

The courage of the Reverend James Adams, the first clergyman to win the Victoria Cross

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Express on Wednesday, 20 December 2017.

WHEN James Adams’s mother ordered him to embark on a career in the Church, he described it as the bitterest blow of his life.

Strong, sporty and with a sense of adventure, he had hoped for a commission in the army but instead he found himself heading for Trinity College Dublin to study theology. (more…)

Hero of the Month by Lord Ashcroft

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in Britain at War in December 2017.

Major Alexander Malins Lafone VC: Endurance

Alexander Malins Lafone was born in the Waterloo district of Liverpool on 19 August 1870. His father was Henry Lafone, a hide and leather merchant and tannery owner, originally from Knockholt, Kent, and his mother was Lucy (née Malins), who was his father’s second wife.

The Lafone family, who were originally from France, was well connected: Alexander Lafone’s uncles were Alfred Lafone, the MP for Bermondsey, and Samuel Lafone, who helped set up the Falkland Islands Trading Company. (more…)

See the December 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 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. (more…)

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…)