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

  • 2 May, 2024
  • 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 May issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Wing Commander John Freeborn DFC & Bar, who flew more operational hours than any other RAF pilot during the Battle of Britain.

The son of a Leeds banker, Freeborn was granted a short service commission in the RAF in January 1939. He was a fine shot but he had a disdain for authority that at time led to a clash with his superiors.

His distinguished career saw him twice decorated during the Second World War. The citation for his Bar to his DFC, announced in February 1941, stated: “This officer has continuously engaged in operations since the beginning of the war. He has destroyed at least 12 enemy aircraft and damaged many more. He is a keen and courageous leader.”

Much later in life, Freeborn was the subject of a biography, which he co-wrote and which was published in 2009, by which point he was one of the last surviving members of “the Few”.  Freeborn died in August 2010, aged 90.

Lord Ashcroft’s articles for Britain at War over the past 11 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.

Related Stories