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 three-page write-up on the life and bravery of Lieutenant Thomas Fasti Dinesen VC, who was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in August 1892.
Because of his Danish nationality, he struggled to join an Allied army but he was eventually accepted into the Canadian Army, via its New York recruiting office, in June 1917: he enlisted as a private into the Royal Highlanders of Canada.
Dinesen was awarded his VC for outstanding bravery on August 12 1918 during the Battle of Amiens, just three days after his 26thbirthday. He showed repeated courage during ten hours of hand-to-hand fighting: five times he rushed forward alone to put enemy machine-guns out of action.
His citation, announced on October 26 1918, concluded: “His sustained valour and resourcefulness inspired his comrades at a very critical stage of the action, and were an example to all.” He received his VC from George V at an investiture at Buckingham Palace on December 13 1918, when by then in the rank of lieutenant.
After the war, Dinesen went to live and work in Kenya: he was the brother of Isak Dinesen (later Baroness Karen Blixen of “Out of Africa” fame). He eventually died in Leerbaek, Denmark, on March 10 1979, aged 86.
- Lord Ashcroft’s latest article appears in the October issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.