Publications

Special Ops Heroes

s Heroes by Michael Ashcroft

By lordashcroft.com

Special Ops Heroes tells the stories behind Lord Ashcroft’s collection of Special Forces medals and is the fifth book in his bravery series.

It uses new material from diaries, eyewitness accounts, medal citations, letters, unpublished books and interviews with the medal recipients themselves to tell remarkable tales of gallantry.

The Foreword to the book has been written by Andy McNab, the SAS hero turned best-selling writer. He says Special Ops Heroes tells “amazing stories of courage” and he describes the book as “a page-turner”.

The book tells of some of the actions of the “SAS Originals” during the Second World War and also recounts stories from later twentieth century conflicts including Northern Ireland, the Falklands War and the First Gulf War.

Lord Ashcroft is, once again, determined to champion courage with his latest book and is giving a complimentary copy of Special Ops Heroes to all the 6,000 secondary school in the UK.

Furthermore, he is donating all his author’s royalties from the sale of Special Ops Heroes to two military charities: the Special Air Service (SAS) Regimental Association and Walking With The Wounded.

Lord Ashcroft has amassed a collection of more than 100 groups of Special Forces medals.In his new book, he recounts the inspirational stories behind more than 50 new groups of gallantry and service medals that have been added to his collection since the publication of his book Special Forces Heroes six years ago.

To purchase the book click here

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Veterans’ Transition Review

By Lord Ashcroft

The Veterans’ Transition Review was conducted by Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC and published on 11 February 2014.

The aim of the review was to look at the policies, legislation, regulations, guidelines and provisions in place for the government to meet its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant with respect to veterans’ transition to civilian life, and make recommendations to ensure it is complete and successful.

The Review consulted all those across government responsible for delivering the Covenant, the Covenant Reference Group, the Third Sector, industry and a wide variety of veterans, and invited submissions from all those with a stake in the issue of veterans’ transition.

Download the full Veterans’ Transition Review here.

 

Visit VeteransTransition.co.uk

 

 

Heroes of the Skies

By Lord Ashcroft

Heroes of the Skies is the fourth book by Lord Ashcroft in his bravery series. The book tells the remarkable stories behind the world’s largest private collection of medals for gallantry in the air that were awarded to more than 80 British, Commonwealth and other Allied airmen.

Heroes of the Skies uses new material from pilots’ log books, eye-witnesses, letters, interviews, citations and other sources to tell the stories of air combat, bombing raids and other bravery displayed by airmen as long ago as the First World War and up to the on-going conflict in Afghanistan. The book was published by Headline on 13 September 2012. Its Foreword is written by Marshal of the RAF Sir Michael Beetham GCB, CBE, DFC, AFC.

Many of us share the author’s fascination with the bravery of others, and these amazing stories allow us to remember and honour those who have risked, and often lost, their own lives for the sake of others.

Lord Ashcroft believes that great courage should be widely acclaimed and must never be forgotten.

Heroes of the Skies by Michael Ashcroft was published in hardback by Headline Review in September 2012.

Lord Ashcroft is donating all the author royalties from the sale of Heroes of the Skies to the charity The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

Heroes of the Skies has also been made into a brand new six-part series starting at 8pm on Thursday, 20 September 2012 on Channel 5.

To purchase the book click here

George Cross Heroes

By Lord Ashcroft

On 23 September 1940, as a response to the changing nature of war that the Second World War had brought about, George VI announced the creation of the George Cross. Ranking alongside the Victoria Cross, it would recognise supreme gallantry away from the heat of battle – behind the front line and in civilian situations.

From the beginning, those who risked or lost their lives in bomb disposal were at the forefront of the minds of those issuing the award – and amongst the very first awarded were those to Robert Davies and George Wylie for their bravery removing an unexploded bomb close to St Paul’s Cathedral. Today it is still these bomb disposal men, who face the possibility of death on a daily basis, who are so often the recipients of the award, with Olaf ‘Oz’ Schmid the most recent recipient. Schmid spent five months in Helmand Province and defused over seventy improvised explosive devices. He lost his life in October 2009.

Since its inception, 161 awards have been made across the Commonwealth and, of these, 110 have been to service personnel and 51 have been to civilians. Those civilians have come from walks of life as diverse as police officers, train drivers, journalists and teachers, and have included four women as well as two collective groups – the people of Malta in 1942 and the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 1999. The very first recipient Thomas Alderson typified the bravery that George VI wanted to commemorate – an ARP leader in the Blitz, he led a series of dangerous below-ground searches, while the air-raids were still continuing, in his home town of Bridlington, with little concern for his own safety.

Many of us share the author’s fascination with the bravery of others, and these amazing stories allow us to remember and honour those who have risked, and often lost, their own lives for the sake of others.

Lord Ashcroft believes that great courage should be widely acclaimed and must never be forgotten.

George Cross Heroes by Michael Ashcroft was published in hardback by Headline Review in October 2010.

Lord Ashcroft is donating all the author royalties from the sale of George Cross Heroes to the charity The Victoria Cross and George Cross Association.

George Cross Heroes has also been made into a brand new four-part series starting at 10pm on Thursday, 18 November 2010 on Discovery History.

To purchase the book click here

Minority Verdict

By Lord Ashcroft

Drawing on his unique perspective as the man responsible for the party’s target seats and polling, the 133-page book gives Lord Ashcroft’s view of the Conservatives’ progress since their third defeat in 2005, the reasons for the party’s failure to win an overall majority in 2010, and David Cameron’s decision to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

Minority Verdict follows Lord Ashcroft’s influential analysis of the 2005 election campaign, Smell the Coffee: A wake-up call for the Conservative Party, which called for the party to modernise and re-engage with voters having come to be seen as untrustworthy and out of touch.

Lord Ashcroft said: “There has been speculation as to my view of the Party’s performance in the election, and of David Cameron’s subsequent decision to forge a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. By putting an end to speculation, Minority Verdict sets the record straight. This is a record of what I really thought at the time, and what I think now. And if there is to be a public debate about this subject, Minority Verdict represents my first and only contribution to it. I do not intend to comment beyond what is contained within its pages.”.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from this website.

To purchase the report click here.

Dirty politics Dirty times

By Lord Ashcroft

A newly revised and updated edition of Dirty politics Dirty times, Lord Ashcroft’s personal account of his battle against an alliance of executives from The Times newspaper and leading New Labour ministers is now available to download (publication date 08 July 2009).

The book reveals the dirty tricks that were used to destabilise the Conservative Party, including the newspaper’s bribery of US government officials, the abuse of parliamentary privileges by New Labour MPs and financial intimidation by former Government minister, Clare Short.

It charts Lord Ashcroft’s successful fight back against this campaign culminating in official Government apologies and The Times unconditionally withdrawing its invented allegations.
The book also sheds new light on Lord Ashcroft’s private life; his childhood and love of Belize, his business career and his many and varied interests.

Reviews

“Enthralling… a cracking good read”
Harry Phibbs, The Social Affairs Unit

“A rattling good yarn… (exposing) a saga of coke-snorting journalists (and) malicious leaks from the Foreign Office… a box-office thriller”
Paul Routledge, Daily Mirror columnist writing in The New Statesman 19/12/05

To purchase the book click here

To purchase the ebook click here

To download a PDF of the book click here

Special Forces Heroes

By Lord Ashcroft

Over the last century, Britain’s Special Forces have performed a whole host of operations with unequalled skill, secrecy and bravery. From the Cockleshell Heroes daring 1942 raid deep into Nazi-occupied France to the dangerous sorties into enemy territory during the Gulf wars, their actions have epitomised heroism.

Fascinated by bravery since he was a boy, Lord Ashcroft has assembled what is believed to be the largest private collection of British Special Forces medals in the world.

In his new book Special Forces Heroes published by Headline Review (November 2008) – the sequel to the best-selling Victoria Cross Heroes – he tells the action-packed stories behind the medals awarded to more than 40 courageous men.

The foreword to the book is written by Andy McNab, an ex SAS operative and best selling author. McNab served in B Squadron 22 SAS for ten years and worked on both covert and overt special operations worldwide, including anti-terrorist and anti-drug operations in the Middle and Far East, South and Central America and Northern Ireland. Awarded both the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM) during his military career, McNab was the British Army’s most highly decorated serving soldier when he finally left the SAS in February 1993.

Special Forces Heroes is linked to a four-part television series of the same name, co-funded by Lord Ashcroft, which is to be shown on FIVE (November 2008). Both the book and the series recognise the astonishing valour and ingenuity of Britain’s most elite servicemen.

Lord Ashcroft is donating all the author royalties from the sale of Special Forces Heroes to the charity Help for Heroes which provides support for the servicemen and women wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Lord Ashcroft’s speech at the launch of Special Forces Heroes on 11 November 2008:

To purchase the book click here.

To purchase the DVD click here.

For more information please visit the website www.specialforcesheroes.com

Victoria Cross Heroes – updated and revised 2007

By Lord Ashcroft

Victoria Cross Heroes was published in November 2006 (updated paperback edition released May 2007). It was written to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the VC: Britain’s highest award for outstanding bravery in the prescence of the enemy.

The book tells the story of Lord Ashcroft’s lifelong interest in the medal and the virtues it symbolises. It charts how he built the world’s largest collection of the medals and his hopes for the Collection which is now owned by aTrust charged with caring and protecting this important part of our national heritage.

Early chapters describe how the medal was created by a royal warrant from Queen Victoria in January 1865 towards the end of the Crimean War. It stresses the importance that was placed upon the medal being awarded solely on merit and open to all ranks. A particular richness of the book lies in the stories behind each of the VCs in the Collection: the extraordinary feats of bravery and daring which resulted in the award of every medal.

The book also tells some of the stories of how other famous VCs were awarded which are not in the Collection. These include accounts of the astonishing courage shown by Second Lieutenant (later Captain) Charles Upham and Captain Noel Chavasse, two of the three receipients to have received both the VC and a ‘bar’; the equivalent of a second VC.

The Foreword to the book has been written by HRH, The Prince of Wales. The heir to the throne remains as proud of the VC as his great great great grandmother 150 years ago when she inaugurated the medal supported by her consort, Prince Albert and her senior ministers. Indeed, Prince Charles is so passionate about the merits of the VC that he presented the Channel Five television series which coincided with the publication of the book.

Victoria Cross Heroes is published by Headline. It has 335 pages and is lavishly illustrated. A DVD of the TV series of the same name is also available.  During 2007 a copy of the DVD was sent to secondary schools in the UK with a classroom resources pack.

Those wanting to know more about the book should visit victoriacrossheroes.com

To order a copy of the book click here.

To order a copy of the DVD click here.

Smell the Coffee

By Lord Ashcroft

During the run-up to the May 2005 general election, Lord Ashcroft became interested in political opinion polls. Using two respected polling companies, he decided to commission some research of his own. Once his polls had been analysed, they produced some fascinating findings – and some valuable lessons for the Conservative Party.

He began to become interested in political polling in the autumn of 2004 at a time when he was already working to help Conservative candidates win – and hold on to – some of the most marginal seats up and down the country.
Initially, he concentrated his research in these key marginal seats but then, as his fascination with polling grew, he decided to conduct a vast poll of 10,000 voters (the usual size is 1,500 people) in order to produce the biggest ever poll in the UK on political attitudes. Initially, he did this out of self-interest but in July 2005 he published the findings for all to see.

Between mid January 2005 and the eve of polling day in May 2005, he also conducted a daily American style “tracker poll” which he hoped would show how voters were responding to key Tory policies in the run-up to the general election.

He hoped the various polls would provide such valuable information as who voted, who did not and why; what mattered to voters and what did not; what messages moved voters, and which did not; where was the battleground and how was it different from the past; and how did the party campaigns and messages chime – or clash – with the attitude of voters.

The results were fascinating but, at the same time, alarming. The findings caused concern because they showed that the Conservative Party was not as in touch with the electorate as it should have been. The Conservative Party needs to learn lessons from these findings and ensure that they do not make the same istakes at the next general election.

He has now published the results of this research in a report, “A study of public opinion and the Conservative Party’s Campaign for the 2005 general election”.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from this website.

To purchase the report click here.

MP’s and Peers feedback

Political Research

By Lord Ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft has written and published a number of influential political pamphlets and research papers over the years. They include What Future For Labour?; What Future For The Liberal Democrats? (2010); Crime, Punishment & The People; Project Blueprint; The Leadership Factor; It’s Not You, It’s Them (2011); Degrees of Separation; (more…)