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 December edition of the magazine has a four-page write-up on the life and courage of Major John “Gentleman Jim” Almonds MM & Bar.
Almonds was an utterly formidable and courageous soldier who, at the time of his death in 2005, aged 91, was the oldest surviving member of the “Originals”, the original complement of the Special Air Service (SAS).
He became known as “Gentleman Jim” because, although physically and mentally tough and ruthless in battle, he was gentle, calm and thoughtful in the company of his comrades.
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 183-strong VC collection, he 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 possesses 14 such awards.
- Lord Ashcroft’s article appears in the December 2013 issue of Britain at War, which is on sale now.