Medals

Little boys who grew up to be Britain’s bravest brothers.

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in The Mail on Sunday on Sunday 10 November 2019 .

As we honour the fallen, Lord Ashcroft recounts their heroic stories.

The sleepy Norfolk village of Whissonsett, population 488, is mentioned in the Domesday Book commissioned in 1085. Yet it also has another claim to fame that is apparent from a village sign erected, by chance, exactly 900 years later.

For the sign, unveiled in the summer of 1985 just a stone’s throw from the village church, honours the memory of two remarkable brothers: Derek and Hugh Seagrim. They are the only siblings ever to be awarded, separately, their country’s foremost gallantry awards: the Victoria Cross (VC) and the George Cross (GC). (more…)

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

By lordashcroft.com

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 November issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Company Sergeant Major Edward Thomas Chapman, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for bravery during the Second World War. (more…)

PTSD-suffering military veterans show long-term benefits from working with orphaned baby rhinos

By Lord Ashcroft

In December last year, I travelled to a secret location just outside South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park to report on a unique project.

The location was, and still is, secret because it is where dozens of young rhinos, some only weeks or months old, are brought when they are found abandoned and orphaned: in almost all cases their mothers have been brutally shot and dehorned, sometimes while they are still alive, by poachers.

So if the evil poachers knew the location of the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary, they could go there in search of easy pickings: some of the older rhinos have well-established – and therefore valuable – horns. (more…)

The Pompeii of the First World War: Remains of 110 soldiers are found in a Belgian field surrounded by revolvers, HP sauce bottles and even a harmonica

By Lord Ashcroft

Published in The Mail On Sunday on 06 October 2019.

  • The ‘Dig Hill 80’ project is situated on the outskirts of Wytschaete in Belgium
  • It gives an unprecedented snapshot of life on the front line from 1914 to 1918
  • Flare guns, medals, water bottles, bullets and an HP Sauce bottle were found

This week more than 80 soldiers who perished during the Great War will finally be laid to rest with full military honours close to where they fell on the Western Front.

These burials, including those of 13 British soldiers who were killed more than a century ago, are the result of one of the most extraordinary archaeological discoveries of modern times. (more…)

See the October 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 October issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Major Michael “Bronco” Lane, a true SAS legend following a quite remarkable military career.

Lane, who was born in Manchester, joined the SAS in 1967, six years after enlisting in the Royal Artillery in his home city. In 1976, aged 30, he took part in the Army Mountaineering Association’s expedition to Mount Everest. (more…)

A welcome to Issue Number 2 of Iron Cross

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in Iron Cross magazine on 01 October 2019.

I am delighted to have been asked to write a welcome to this the second issue of Iron Cross magazine and to be able to commend this splendid publication to the reader as an important historical journal. It provides an honest and objective look at German military history from 1914 to 1945 for the first time. (more…)

See the September 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 September issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Lance-Corporal of Horse Christopher Finney, who was just eighteen years old when he took part in a dramatic battlefield action for which he would become the youngest serviceman to receive the George Cross (GC). (more…)

Proof human kindness can overcome the hatred of war

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Mail on Sunday on 11 August 2019.

The bravery of a hero British First World War soldier and how a GERMAN general answered his parents’ plea to find their missing son.

 

  • British captain Kilby was so brave he fought on even after his foot was blown off  
  • Kilby went missing and his parents undertook a desperate search to locate him
  • They were assisted in their task by none other than a German army officer  
  • Letters show how the German general answered Kilby’s parents pleas to find him

Today, the tow-path alongside La Bassee canal in northern France is a haven of peace and tranquillity. (more…)

See the August 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 August issue of magazine has four pages on the life and career of Temporary Captain Henry John Andrews VC, MBE. Andrews was the recipient of a rare inter-war VC for bravery – there were, in fact, 11 such actions between November 1918 and September 1939. (more…)

Terror in the skies: How a VC was won in the air above France

By Lord Ashcroft

 

First published in the Daily Express on 13 June 2019.

SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS ago today one of the most remarkable stories in the history of the VC unfolded in the skies over France. Historian Lord Ashcroft on a tale of bravery and survival.

Just a week after D-Day and in what promised to be a relatively routine night-time bombing mission, the crew of an Avro Lancaster heavy bomber took off bound for northern France.

They were a closely-knit, seven-strong crew who had been on many sorties together.

Two gunners, Warrant Officer Andy Mynarski and Pilot Officer Pat Brophy, had formed a particularly strong bond, isolated as they were from the rest of the crew in their positions towards the tail of the aircraft.

Every time they successfully returned from a mission, they ­celebrated by having a slice of their favourite lemon meringue pie, made by one of the cooks on the base. (more…)