Medals

See the July issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery 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 July issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Warrant Officer Class 1 Barry Johnson GC, who was decorated for courageous bomb disposal work in Northern Ireland that nearly cost him his life.

Johnson, who was born in north London, underwent a three-year apprenticeship as an ammunition technician before joining the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

During his second tour of Northern Ireland in 1989, he was called to deal with a van abandoned in a housing estate in Londonderry. It soon became apparent that inside the van were six barrels loaded with mortars. (more…)

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

By Lord Ashcroft

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.

Read more …

I wish Daddy hadn’t been so very brave

By Lord Ashcroft

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.

Read more … 

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

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

The brave resistance of the islanders during the Falklands War

By Lord Ashcroft

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.

Read more …

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

By Lord Ashcroft

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.

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

By Lord Ashcroft

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.

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I felt and heard ‘bang, bang, bang’

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in AirMail Magazine in April 2022.

Forty years on, Jeff Glover has mixed thoughts about the Falklands War. He is glad to have played a part in a winning campaign but for a very long time he felt he had “let the side down”. This was because he was shot down on his very first combat mission, thereby losing one of the six aircraft from his squadron and becoming the only British pilot to be taken as a Prisoner of War during the 1982 conflict.

Read more …

See the April issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery 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 April issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Major Sir Ambrose Joseph McGonigal KBE, MC & Bar, who displayed outstanding bravery while serving with the Special Forces during the Second World War. (more…)