Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his second article published in his new bravery series for Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.
The theme of the series is Lord Ashcroft’s “hero of the month” and the April edition of the magazine has a four-page write-up on the life and courage of Lieutenant (later Rear Admiral) John Bythesea.
Bythesea was awarded his VC for bravery in the Baltic during the Crimean War, when he took part in an early “Special Forces” operation to intercept vital Russian despatches as they were being taken by messengers across the island of Wardo in August 1854.
Bythesea and an accomplice, both serving in the Royal Navy, were armed with just a single pistol when they ambushed the five messengers, capturing two of them along with their mail bags.
In his article, Lord Ashcroft tells of his admiration for the “cold courage” – premeditated bravery – of Special Forces personnel, bomb disposal experts and others.
Lord Ashcroft is a military historian who had written four books on bravery over the past eight years. He has also lectured extensively on courage and his various medal collections.
All his articles for the magazine will be based on expanded excerpts from Lord Ashcroft’s four books on gallantry: Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes and Heroes of the Skies.
Furthermore, the vast majority of the write-ups will be based on gallantry medals owned by Lord Ashcroft. As well as his unrivalled 179-strong VC collection, the Conservative peer has a major Special Forces’ medals’ collection and a substantial collection of decorations awarded for gallantry in the air. In 2010, Lord Ashcroft also started collecting George Crosses (GCs) for the first time and currently owns 11 awards.