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 September issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Captain Charles Upham VC and Bar, the only combat soldier ever to be awarded two Victoria Crosses.
Upham, who was born and raised in New Zealand, showed incredible and relentless bravery for much of the Second World War having enlisted into the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
He was awarded his first VC for outstanding bravery in the defence of Crete in 1941, initially leading a counter-attack on an airfield that Germany had captured and later completing a series of courageous actions.
Upham was awarded his second VC for gallantry in North Africa during the First Battle of El Alamein in 1942. However, he was captured during the fighting having been seriously wounded.
Upham, who as a frontline soldier favoured the hand grenade as his weapon of choice, tried several times to escape while a PoW and, as a result, was sent to Colditz, the notorious prison camp.
However, he survived the war and returned to his New Zealand homeland where he worked on his own farm. He died on November 22 1994, aged 86.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past nine years have been largely based on excerpts from his seven books on gallantry: Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes, Heroes of the Skies, Special Ops Heroes, Victoria Cross Heroes Volume II and Falklands War Heroes.
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 September issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.