Military medals are becoming increasingly valuable, but it’s the story of courage behind the award that counts
The centenary of the First World War has reminded us of the extraordinary heroism of those who fight for their country.
And while medals earned by wartime heroes may be beyond value to their relatives, the cold fact is that these awards can command huge prices.
Last month, the medals of “Clem” Clements, who won three awards for gallantry during the Second World War, sold for £98,400, more than double the estimate, at Spink, the auction house.
Also sold were the medals won by Spitfire hero RF “Pied Piper” Hamlyn, which realised £90,000 again, far above their estimate.
With military medals it is the recipient’s story and the rarity of the medal that determine the price. The Victoria Cross and Bar awarded to Capt Noel Chavasse for his service in the First World War were sold to Lord Ashworth, the medal collector, for a reported £1.5m in 2009. They are now in the Imperial War Museum. And the posthumous VC awarded to New Zealander Capt Alfred Shout, who was killed at Gallipoli, sold for more than £490,000 in 2006.