Writing in the Daily Mail, Lord Ashcroft has stated his support for the recent Bow Group paper "To Lay in Valour: Protecting the Graves of Our Military Heroes"
"Nearly 1,000 recipients of the VC are buried in churchyards in the UK and it is many of these graves that have fallen into a pitiable state (whereas the Commonwealth War Graves Commission looks after the graves of 386 VC recipients who fell in action abroad).
The concerns of the Victoria Cross Trust have now been reinforced by the findings of the Bow Group, an influential think-tank which has called on the Government to help provide an estimated £1.2million required to survey and restore the graves that have fallen into a state of disrepair.
Over the past three decades, I have championed bravery, building up the largest collection of VCs in the world – now on display to the public at a gallery in the Imperial War Museum in London. I have also written four books on gallantry: the first, Victoria Cross Heroes, was published to mark the 150th anniversary of the VC being instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856.
I feel protective towards the graves of those 177 men whose VCs are now in my collection. It is for this reason that I am today pledging up to £1,000 per plot to restore any of these specific graves if, for whatever reason, they have fallen into major disrepair. I hope that my pledge, so soon after Remembrance Sunday, will encourage others, including the Government and concerned groups or individuals, to find the funds to restore every derelict grave of a VC recipient to its former glory."
Read the full article at the Daily Mail website.