Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had a new-look “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 new design for the four-page write-up on the life and bravery of Major Sir Tasker Watkins, VC, GBE, PC, QC, DL.
Watkins was born in Nelson, Glamorgan, in November 1918, just seven days after the Armistice. One of seven children, he was brought up in South Wales until his family moved to Essex.
After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, he served in the ranks of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry before being granted an emergency commission to the Welch Regiment in May 1941.
Watkins was an astute and courageous leader of men and he was awarded his VC for outstanding and relentless courage in August 1944 while serving in France. Against overwhelming odds and as a young lieutenant, he fought himself and his men out of trouble, charging enemy machine-gun posts single-handed.
His VC was announced on November 2 1944, when Watkins was recovering in hospital from serious leg injures sustained in a subsequent battle. He received his VC from George VI at an investiture in March 1945.
Watkins survived the war and went on to have a hugely successful career as a senior lawyer and he also became president of the Welsh Rugby Union. He died in September 2007, aged 88, shortly after a fall at his home in Llandaff on the outskirts of Cardiff.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past five years have been largely based on excerpts from his six books on gallantry: Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes, Heroes of the Skies, Special Ops Heroes and Victoria Cross Heroes Volume II.
Lord Ashcroft is a military historian who has lectured extensively on courage and his various medal collections.
- Lord Ashcroft’s latest article appears in the December issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.