See the August 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 August issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Staff Sergeant Olaf “Oz” Schmid GC, who showed outstanding bravery as a bomb disposal expert in Afghanistan in 2009 – a tour of duty that eventually cost him his life. (more…)

The daring British Major butchered by the Nazis – and why a tiny French village will never forget the ultimate sacrifice he made for their freedom

Published in The Mail On Sunday on 24 July 2022.

Major Colin Ogden-Smith volunteered for a group known as the Jedburghs

Small Breton community in France still holds a special service every other year 

The service will commemorate the gallantry of the British Special Forces office

At 11am next Saturday, in the heart of the French countryside, up to 100 people will attend a moving ceremony.

The event is to remember the lives of three men who died as a result of a daring wartime mission behind enemy lines nearly 80 years ago. (more…)

See the July 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 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

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

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

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 … 

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