I was delighted to attend the Book Launch for Lord Aschroft's new book: Victoria Cross Heroes. He was joined by a number of leading players in the Conservative Party: David Davis, William Hague, and even David Cameron. However, more importantly the book has received wide support from families of recipients of the Victoria Cross, and a number of them had attended this evening.
The beauty of the VC is its simplicity and the fact that it is awarded solely on merit and for outstanding bravery in the presence of the enemy. The book is published to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the introduction of the Victoria Cross, having been introduced by Her Majesty Queen Victoria in January 1856. The first awards of the VC were published in the London Gazette on 24 February 1857. Lord Ashcroft now has the world's largest collection of VC's, which have been put into a trust. There are plans to put the whole collection on public display in London.
True courage is something that many aspire to but few achieve. The event, held at the Imperial War Museum, was inspiring, and humbling. VCs are largely given to ordinary people who have performed extraordinary acts of bravery. They are real heroes who more often that not sacrificed their lives in order that others survived. It is at times like these, and particularly with November 11th fast approaching that we remember how many men (and women) have given their lives for the protection of this country, and to protect others from losing their lives, or their liberty.
The book is now on general sale. Also, there will be a three part television series fronted by HRH the Prince of Wales (who also wrote the foreword to the book) starting on 18th or 19th November on Channel 5. Further details are available on www.victoriacrossheroes.com.