On the 22nd September 1920 a baby boy was born in Copenhagen in Denmark. Nothing remarkable in this fact, but the baby boy grew up to be an incredibly remarkable man, almost definitely unheard of outside of military circles and his immediate family, but that doesn’t make him any the less remarkable for it.
I suppose that looking at his close family members should give at least a little indication, he was a cousin of Axel von dem Bussche, a German resistance member who tried to kill Hitler in 1943.
Anyone who wins the Victoria Cross is an incredible person, to have been the only non Commonwealth soldier to have been awarded it, to go along with his three Military Cross’ give some indication to what sort of person he was.
Anders Frederik Emil Victor Schau Lassen, VC, MC and 2 bars, lived a short but very eventful life, leaving legends behind that seem scarcely credible, yet most are backed up with documentary evidence.
Once the Germans came into his native country and he left to come to the UK and join in the fight against them, revenge was the uppermost thought on his mind. It is said that his hatred of the Germans was impossible to believe, even once seen.
As an ex soldier it had long been on my bucket list to go and pay my respects to him, and once I’d done so I had wanted to write something about it, but words appear to be little reward for such a man.
Killed on the 9th April 1945 leading a deception raid against German sentry posts at Lake Comacchio, his postumous VC was the very least he deserved for such courage. I shan’t recount his tales of derring do here, but his citations for his awards are easy to find with a little help from a search engine.
He lies in the Argenta Gap War Cemetary in North West Italy, one of the far too many War Cemetary’s administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, they are always impeccably kept on land donated to the UK in perpetuity as thanks for the sacrifice made.
The word “hero” is terribly overused in today’s society, but in my very humble opinion the subject of this post deserves the word and much more to describe him.