Medals

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.

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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…)

The Falklands hero who lost an arm trying to defuse an Argentine bomb, but still feels a right plonker for calling the Queen ‘sir’ as she pinned a medal on his chest.

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in The Mail on Sunday on 13 March 2022.

Military historian Lord Ashcroft has followed up his latest book about bravery, Falklands War Heroes, by writing about those whose valour has largely gone unsung.

In yesterday’s Daily Mail, he saluted the remarkable efforts of the Falklanders themselves to repel the Argentinians. Here, he tells of the courage of key British servicemen.

Every time John Phillips looks in the mirror he is reminded of the Falklands War 40 years ago. That’s because the left sleeves of his shirt and jumper are always neatly tucked away out of sight.

As his left arm was ripped off at the shoulder while undertaking dangerous bomb disposal work, the sleeves are surplus to requirements.

For a time, he sported one of the three prosthetic arms provided for him by the Army but then he discarded them all.

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Unsung Falklands heroes who helped liberate the islands 40 years ago include vet who used castrating scissors to sabotage Argentine army phone cables and a farmer who led British soldiers to safety under cover of darkness

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in The Daily Mail on 12 March 2022.

Today, Trudi McPhee, a sixth generation islander, farms her 8,500 acres of land populated by 1,700 sheep on East Falkland, where she was born and raised.

In fact, her ‘little plot’ is too small to be economic, so she also, with her partner, manages three other farms with a further 10,000 sheep.

Her peaceful existence is in stark contrast to the dangers she faced exactly 40 years ago when a huge Argentine force invaded the Falkland Islands. (more…)

See the March 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 March issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Warrant Officer Justin Bell QGM. It is a special tribute to a man that Lord Ashcroft knew and admired.

Lord Ashcroft first met Bell 12 years ago, before writing his third bravery book, George Cross Heroes and while attending a bomb disposal course. Because so many GCs have been awarded to bomb disposal experts, Lord Ashcroft wanted to obtain an insight into the difficult and hazardous job that they faced. (more…)

HERO OF THE SKIES

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in Saga Magazine in January 2022.

As the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War approaches, we celebrate one of its heroes, William O’Brien, who is the only Royal Marine ever to receive the Distinguished Flying Medal. ‘Uncle Bill’ went on to be the oldest pilot to fly missions in Afghanistan, flying helicopters with the Royal Naval Reserve. By Lord Michael Ashcroft.

Four decades ago, his skill and bravery in the Falklands – evacuating casualties by helicopter under enemy fire – earned pilot William O’Brien a unique honour. In recognition of 17 night-flying sorties, rescuing wounded personnel and resupplying vital ammunition, he became the only Royal Marine ever to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM), and received the only such decoration of the conflict.

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See the January 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 January issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Major Charles George Gibson “Pat” Riley DCM, one of the earliest and most courageous members of the SAS.

Riley was born in Wisconsin, USA, to an Irish-American family. However, when he was just seven, the family moved to Cumbria. After working first in a quarry, he joined the Coldstream Guards in January 1934, aged 18. (more…)

‘SAINT’ WHO WENT MARCHING ON

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Express on 04 January 2022.

As his medals join the world’s greatest collection of gallantry awards, the long journey of Colour Sergeant Alwyn Stevens from the remote island of St Helena to guts and glory in Afghanistan.

I WAS a toddler when I first visited St Helena. It was a stop-off for my family on our way to Africa where my father Eric Ashcroft was taking up a post as a colonial officer. I’ve had a soft spot for the remote volcanic island ever since and until Covid-19 intervened, was a regular visitor to the British Overseas Territory where Napoleon was exiled after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

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See the December 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 December issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Guardsman Edward Charlton, who was awarded the last VC of the European theatre at the end of the Second World War.

Charlton, who was born in Rowlands Gill near Gateshead in County Durham, volunteered for the Irish Guards shortly after the outbreak of the war in September 1939. He was then aged 19. (more…)

Forty years on since the Falklands War, my new book celebrates the bravery of our Armed Forces

By Lord Ashcroft

First published on ConservativeHome.com on 17 November 2021.

Last night I was able to host what habecome that rarest of events: a live book launch with real guests. My book launches over the past 20 months have, sadly, had to be “virtual” online events because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

I welcomed nearly 250 guests to Millbank Tower, central London, to mark the publication of my latest bravery book: Falklands War Heroes. Politicians, members (and former members) of our Armed Forces, business leaders, lawyers, charity bosses and journalists mixed happily with my friends and family.

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