See the July issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

  • 4 July, 2023
  • Bravery
  • Britain at War
  • Medals

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 July issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career Temporary Lieutenant Jack Maynard Cholmondeley Easton, who was awarded the George Cross (GC) for outstanding bravery as a bomb disposal officer during the Second World War.

Easton, who was born in May 1906, worked as a solicitor before the war. However, in September 1940, he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, soon working on mine disposal and mine counter-measures.

On October 17 1940, he and a comrade were called to deal with an unexploded parachute mine that had crashed through the roof of a house in Hoxton, east London. However, as Easton was working on it, the device slipped. He heard the whirring of the bomb mechanism and, shouting to his comrade, he knew they only had 12 seconds before the bomb exploded.

Both men ran for cover but his assistant, Ordinary Seaman Bennett Southwell, was killed in the subsequent explosion and Easton was badly injured. Easton had to be dug from underneath debris and had suffered a fractured spine, skull and pelvis.

Both Easton and Southwell were awarded the GC on January 23 1941. The former was still being treated in hospital when he heard the news, while the latter’s award was posthumous. Easton recovered well from his serious injuries and eventually died in Chichester, West Sussex, in December 1994, aged 88.

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 July issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.

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