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 April issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Brigadier The Rt Hon Sir John George Smyth, 1st Baronet, VC, MC, PC, who showed relentless bravery as a soldier and later enjoyed a remarkable life after leaving the Armed Forces.
Smyth, who was usually known as “Jackie”, was born in Teignmouth, Devon, on October 24, 1893. In August 1912, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant on the unattached list for the British Indian Army.
It was for outstanding gallantry in 1915, early in the First World War, that Smyth, then only 21 years old, was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). His decoration was for a daring and dangerous mission to fetch desperately-needed ammunition during a period of heavy fighting. He was later also awarded the Military Cross (MC) for further gallantry.
Smyth survived the war and later went on to become a long-serving Conservative MP and a co-founder of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association. He was the last VC recipient to sit in the House of Commons. He died at his home in central London on April 26 1983, aged 89.
Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past ten 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 April issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.