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 May issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Wing Commander Forest Yeo-Thomas, GC, MC & Bar.
Yeo-Thomas, widely known simply as “Tommy’, was born in London but his parents moved to France when he and his two brothers were young so the three boys became bilingual.
In 1942, aided by his language skills, he joined the highly-secretive Special Operations Executive (SOE) from the RAF Intelligence Branch. Despite his fine organisation skills, Yeo-Thomas always wanted an active role as a secret agent.
In 1943 and early 1944, after being parachuted into France, he worked with the Free French Secret Service on a number of daring missions in German-occupied France.
On March 21, 1944, he was captured and, later, brutally tortured. He had expected to be executed but his life was spared and he eventually escaped and reached Allied lines.
For his relentless bravery, Yeo-Thomas, codenamed “the White Rabbit”, was awarded the Military Cross (MC) and Bar and, eventually, also the George Cross (GC).
Due to his wartime abuse at the hands of the Gestapo, he suffered from poor health later in his life. Yeo-Thomas died in Paris on February 26, 1964, aged just 61.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past eight 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 May issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.