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 November issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Company Sergeant Major Edward Thomas Chapman, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for bravery during the Second World War.
Miner’s son Chapman, who was born in Pontlottyn, Glamorgan, served with The Monmouthshire Regiment. He was awarded the VC for bravery during an enemy ambush on April 2 1945 in Germany as the Allies started to advance into the enemy’s homeland.
The ambush led to many British casualties but Chapman, then aged 25, kept his cool, seized a Bren gun and, firing from the hip, advanced shooting several enemy soldiers. After a short lapse in the fighting, the Germans advanced again but Chapman repeatedly fought off their attack.
His VC was announced on July 13 1945 for “magnificent bravery” which helped the British secure a key position. Chapman was wounded in the hip during his VC action, but not seriously and he soon rejoined his battalion.
After the war, he worked as an engineer, on the railways and in a factory. He died in February 2002, aged 82.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past six 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 November issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.