As an SAS captain is honoured 40 years after his death in a fierce firefight behind enemy lines

Published in The Mail On Sunday on 05 June 2022.

LORD ASHCROFT recalls the day the Queen paid a teary-eyed tribute to the Falklands hero, whose enemy called him ‘the bravest man I’ve ever seen’.

To mark this month’s 40th anniversary of the end of the Falklands War – when Argentina surrendered – military historian Lord Ashcroft has written about the last hours and legacies of two heroic British service personnel.

Yesterday’s Daily Mail published his interview with the daughter of Sergeant Ian McKay, who was shot dead just two days before the conflict ended. Here, he tells the story of another supremely brave commanding officer.

On Friday, more than 150 family, friends and former comrades will gather in a quiet corner of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to pay their respects to an extraordinary man.

Those visiting the Allied Special Forces Memorial Grove will formally unveil a new tribute to Captain John Hamilton MC, who was killed while operating behind enemy lines during the Falklands War of 1982.

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I wish Daddy hadn’t been so very brave

Published in The Daily Mail on 04 June 2022.

Falklands War hero Ian McKay was awarded one of the conflict’s two posthumous VCs for his courage. But 40 years on, in her first interview, the four-year-old daughter he left behind shares her pride, grief and regret.

Five-year-old Melanie McKay refused to wear the new maroon dress bought specially for her father’s investiture in November 1982.

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

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 June issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Major Frederick Henry Bradley VC, VD, who was decorated for his bravery during a battle that has been likened to the defence of Rorke’s Drift.

Bradley, who was born in London, enlisted with the 2nd Depot Division of the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) in March 1894. Serving as a driver with the 69th Battery, RFA, during the Second Boer War, he showed such outstanding gallantry that he was awarded the VC. (more…)

Trophy hunting ISN’T the way to save species, it’s nothing but BLOOD MONEY

Published in the Daily Mail on 24 May 2022.

After one expert’s provocative argument in the Mail, LORD ASHCROFT provides an equally passionate riposte’.

Earlier this month, journalist Graham Boynton wrote a thought-provoking piece for the Daily Mail on the heated issue of trophy hunting in Africa.

In it, he argued it is a cruel irony that a ‘celebrity campaign’ to ban this activity —and an associated effort to ban the importation into Britain of hunting souvenirs such as lion skins — could end up being counter-productive.

Read more … 

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

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 Colour Sergeant Alwyn Stevens CGC, who showed outstanding bravery while serving in Afghanistan.

Stevens, who was born and raised in the remote British Overseas Territory of St Helena, enlisted in the Army on October 18, 1999. Following basic training, he joined the Royal Irish Regiment and in 2006 he qualified as a sniper. (more…)

After a turbulent few weeks, where do Johnson – and Starmer – really stand with the voters?

This week’s local elections take place against the backdrop of leadership plots and follow perhaps the most politically turbulent few months since the Brexit wars. My new research, including an 8,000-sample poll and focus groups with 2019 Conservatives in different types of seat throughout the country, shows how voters have reacted to the recent controversies and where Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer and their parties now stand in relation to the voters.

Partygate: is it over yet?

Just under half of all voters (47%) including nearly one in five 2019 Tories, said they thought “breaking the rules is a very serious matter, and Boris Johnson should resign”. This included more than 3 in 10 (31%) of those who switched from Labour to the Conservatives at the 2019 election.

Read more …

Three reasons why Boris Johnson can survive the public’s anger at Partygate

This article first appeared in the Mail on Sunday.

Looking at my latest polling it is easy to see why many believe Boris Johnson’s Downing Street days are numbered.

My new 8,000-sample survey shows the opposition ahead not just on traditional Labour issues like the NHS and public services, but on supposedly Tory territory like immigration and crime. Voters say they are more inclined to trust Labour to run the economy.

Read more … 

The brave resistance of the islanders during the Falklands War

First published in RBL Paris newsletter in April 2022.

While researching my latest bravery book, Falklands War Heroes, I naturally came across numerous stories of bravery enacted by British soldiers, sailors, airmen and support staff. However, I also heard some accounts of a less well-known valour – that displayed by islanders whose remote British Overseas Territory had been invaded by a huge Argentine force on April 2, 1982.

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How the bravery of George Cross Island changed the course of WWII

Published in the Mail on Sunday on 10 April 2022.

LORD ASHCROFT pays tribute to Malta’s heroic defenders who defied bombing three times more intense than the Blitz – and were honoured with Britain’s joint top gallantry award.

At the age of 90, Laurence Mizzi still has a cheerful demeanour and a spring in his step after a distinguished career as a teacher and, later, a broadcaster.

Read more …

Championing the courage of the fortress island of Malta 80 years on

Released on YouTube on 10 April 2022.

Presented by Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, this short film pays tribute to the islanders of Malta for their bravery and resistance that led to the collective award of the George Cross in April 1942.

See more …

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