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As the world marks liberation of the Nazi concentration camps… the forgotten heroine of the Holocaust who smuggled 2,500 ghetto children to safety in coffins, suitcases… and even a toolbox

By Lord Ashcroft

Published in The Mail On Sunday on 22 January 2023.

  • Irena is all but forgotten despite the fact that she saved around 2,500 children
  • She died in 2008 with brief tributes to the bravery of ‘The Angel of Warsaw’

The pretty, dark-haired young woman in a nurse’s uniform felt her heart thump inside her chest as she presented her identity papers to the Nazi soldiers guarding one of the few entrances to the Warsaw Ghetto.

It was the summer of 1942 and the truth about the Germans’ brutal genocide of the Jews was becoming horrifyingly clear. The knot in her stomach shifted slightly as the guard gruffly waved her inside. Agonisingly, she knew that if the truth of her secret mission was revealed, she would be tortured by the ruthless, sadistic SS and then shot. (more…)

Mapping the Future: The American Political Landscape and the Road to 2024

By Lord Ashcroft

As the new Congress convenes, I have brought together into a single report the research I conducted during the campaign for the November 2022 elections. Its implications go well beyond a single set of midterms. The model that we use, and the findings reported here – based on a poll of 20,000 Americans and extensive focus groups in the key states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida and Arizona – help us understand the landscape of opinion in the United States, the divisions that continue to define American politics, and the forces that will be at work in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election and beyond.

The research also helps explain why the red wave scheduled for November never materialised, despite economic pain and voters’ clear view that the country was heading in the wrong direction, with the Biden administration’s policies making things worse rather than better. Our analysis shows that we saw, in effect, one midterm but two elections, with different parts of the electorate voting according to completely separate sets of perspectives and priorities. Meanwhile, as the exit polls confirmed, nearly as many voters treated the election as a referendum on the former president as on the incumbent – hence the result that seemed to defy political gravity.

Read more … 

See the January issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s two new bravery articles

By Lord Ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has two major articles on gallantry in the new issue of Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The January issue has eleven pages on the “Dynasty Warriors” – three men from two generations of the same family who were all awarded the Victoria Cross (VC).

The Gough family’s achievements entitles them to be regarded as Britain and Ireland’s bravest-ever family. It prompts the question whether courage is hereditary.

The January issue of the magazine also has Lord Ashcroft’s latest “hero of the month” article: four pages on the life and career of Boy 1st Class John Travers Cornwell VC. (more…)

She faced down Hitler, the Red Army AND the Dresden firestorm

By Lord Ashcroft

Published in The Mail On Sunday on 01 January 2023.

Now the moving story of Britain’s wartime heroine who turned up at her family’s doorstep three years after being declared dead is revealed by author and historian LORD ASHCROFT.

There is nothing in the wording of the memorial plaque at the North London crematorium that hints at her remarkable life or the tender post-war love affair that she shared with her husband.

The inscription simply reads: ‘In memory of wonderful parents Leslie Mould 31.8.19 – 28.3.15, devoted husband of Magdalene Mould 4.1.26 – 20.12.02. Reunited in love for eternity in God’s kingdom.’ (more…)

My special report from the frontline in southern Ukraine

By Lord Ashcroft

Published on ConservativeHome.com on 28 December 2022.

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC is an international businessman, philanthropist, author and pollster. For more information on his work, visit www.lordashcroft.com or follow him on Facebook.

It was a poignant statement of the resilience of the Ukrainian people. Amidst death and destruction in the village of Luch, close to the frontline city of Kherson, someone had decorated a Christmas tree outside their single-storey house.

Their home had been badly damaged by a missile in a fierce battle last month between Ukrainian and Russian troops, creating a gaping hole in the roof. Yet the Christmas tree, with its colourful tinsel and bright lights, was a symbol of hope for the country’s future. (more…)

The Ukrainians will never waver in defence of their homeland. They are fighting for their lives – and their freedom.

By Lord Ashcroft

Published in the Daily Mail on 26 December 2022.

As he returns from visiting the war-torn nation, a stirring message from senior Tory LORD ASHCROFT.

A year ago, the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa had streets full of festive lights, towering Christmas trees in its main squares and a bustling population of nearly a million people. Not for nothing was it known as ‘the pearl of the Black Sea’. (more…)

See You At The Savoy!

By Lord Ashcroft

Published in the Daily Express on 07 December 2022.

Eight decades ago today, that cheery farewell ringing in their ears, the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’ clambered into their flimsy craft to begin Operation Frankton. Of the 10 men who set out, just two returned. LORD ASHCROFT exclusively retraces the path of the legendary special forces raid that inspired the iconic war film.

PADDLING in a two-man canoe off peaceful south-west France, I tried to imagine the scene 80 years earlier as specially-built canoes were silently unloaded from the hatch of a British submarine that had just surfaced off the German-occupied coast. In the evening darkness of December 7, 1942, the attack phase of Operation Frankton, the codename for perhaps the most audacious special forces operation of the Second World War, was about to get underway. (more…)

See the December issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new gallantry article

By Lord Ashcroft

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 December issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Major Colin Ogden-Smith, who lost his life while working with the French Resistance during the Second World War.

Ogden-Smith, the middle of three brothers who all served in the Armed Forces, was brought up in a prosperous area of East Croydon on the outskirts of London. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery before the outbreak of the war.

After some Special Forces operations, he volunteered for a clandestine group known as the Jedburghs, who were trained to parachute into Occupied France in the aftermath of the D-Day landings of June 6 1944.

In early July 1944, and then aged 33, Ogden-Smith parachuted into Brittany as part of a three-man team and they worked with the Maquis, or French Resistance, for the next three weeks.

However, on July 29 the Germans, tipped off by a collaborator, came to the farm where they were hiding and in a shoot-out Ogden-Smith was killed, along with a French Resistance fighter and the local farmer who was sheltering them.

Ogden-Smith was recommended for a gallantry award but in the end received only a Mention in Dispatches. However, he and the two Frenchmen are still remembered in a moving ceremony in Brittany that is held every other year, even eight decades on.

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

They Think It’s All Over – Can The Tories Turn It Round?

By Lord Ashcroft

Published in the Mail on Sunday on 27 November 2022.

Ask a group of people who’ve previously voted Tory about what they felt when they heard Rishi Sunak was to become PM and the chances are someone will say “relief”.

There are plenty of doubts – about his ability to empathise with voters given his family’s wealth, his role in Boris Johnson’s downfall, and some of the Covid bailouts he unveiled as chancellor – but many welcome the return of some sanity to politics and sense to the public finances.

Read more … 

In The Shadows book launch speech.

By Lord Ashcroft

Speech made on 15 November 2022.

Watch the speech Lord Ashcroft made at the official launch of his latest book, In The Shadows: The extraordinary men and women of the Intelligence Corps, in London on 15 November 2022.

Watch in full: