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 October issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Lieutenant-Commander John Bridge, who was awarded an almost unique set of gallantry medals for his bravery as a bomb and mine disposal expert during the Second World War.
Bridge was born near Warrington, Lancashire, in February 1915. He began the 1939-45 war as a physics teacher but put his career on hold to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR). He soon became a member of an eight-man bomb-disposal team known as the “First 8”, taking on his first proper job in the role just five weeks after leaving his teaching job.
A first-class diver too, Bridge was eventually awarded the George Cross (GC), George Medal (GM) and Bar for his astonishing level of courage in dealing with a series of deadly devices. There has only been one other holder of the same three decorations.
He survived the war, returned to teaching, got married and had three daughters. He also wrote his memoir. Bridge died in Sunderland in December 2006, aged 91.
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 October issue of Britain at War which is on sale now.