Lord Ashcroft Medals
Lord Ashcroft Medals is a website that provides information on the world’s largest collection of Victoria Crosses (VCs). The collection, now totalling more than 180 VCs, has been built up by Lord Ashcroft over the past three decades.
Lord Ashcroft’s passion for bravery dates back to his childhood and was partly inspired the courage of his own father Eric, who, as a young officer, took part in the D-Day landings on June 6 1944.
Over the years, this passion for courage turned into a great interest in gallantry medals, particularly the Victoria Cross (VC), Britain and the Commonwealth’s most prestigious decoration for courage in the face of the enemy.
In the summer of 1986, Lord Ashcroft purchased the VC that has been awarded to Leading Seaman James Magennis, a Royal Navy diver, at the end of the Second World War.
Lord Ashcroft said: “Until that point, I had never intended to own more than one VC, but there and then I knew that my fascination with this subject was not going to end with ownership of James Magennis VC. I decided quite spontaneously that collecting VCs would be a hobby that I would pursue and enjoy for the rest of my life. I – and I suspect many other collectors – treasure medals because they are the tangible mementoes of an individual’s service and bravery.”
Since 1986, the VC collection has been built up honourably, sensitively and patiently. It has also been amassed with a firm sense of commercial reality as to what the medals are worth. A trust was established many years ago to look after and protect the medals that date from the Crimean War to the Falklands War.
There is no ‘ambulance chasing’ or going in pursuit of medals that are not on the market. The only medals in the collection are those that either the recipients, their families or collectors wanted to sell. They have been bought at public auctions or as the result of someone wanting to sell them privately.
Lord Ashcroft’s VC and George Cross collections are on public display in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery at Imperial War Museums, London.
* For more information, visit www.lordashcroftmedals.com