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Flying medals awarded to young rear gunner sells for £40,000

Medals of Lancaster Rear Gunner Warrant Officer Victor Arthur Roe headlined Noonans' Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria sale and sold for £40,000 on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.
Officer-Victor-Arthur-Roe-Medals

Mayfair London, UK - Lancaster Rear Gunner Warrant Officer Victor Arthur Roe who was born at Old Barge Yard, Norwich in May 1923, was killed in action on a raid to Chemnitz, carrying out his 98th operational sortie on 5-6 March 1945. He was just 21 years old. His outstanding and rare Second War C.G.M (Conspicuous Gallantry Medal) and ‘Immediate’ D.F.M. (Distinguished Flying Medal) group of five was sold by Noonans in their sale of Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria for £40,000 on Wednesday, December 7, 2022. They were being sold by Roe’s family and were bought by a leading collector of WW2 Flying gallantry medals on the telephone.

As Mark Quayle, Specialist (Associate Director) Noonans commented: "This is a remarkably poignant story attached to a rare group of medals. From humble origins, and the most difficult of starts in the life, Victor Roe rose above his difficult beginning to distinguish himself amongst the elite of the elite - the Pathfinder Force. A talented ’Tail-End Charlie’, he regularly engaged and successfully fought off enemy aircraft from the rear turret of his Lancaster Bomber. Having crammed so much into his short life, he was killed in action on the raid to Cheminitz, 5/6 March 1945, aged just 21. It was his 98th operational sortie, just 2 shy of the elusive 100 club."

Elsewhere a Great War ‘Western Front’ M.C. group of four awarded to Major F. W. Prentice, Tank Corps, late Royal Engineers, who had previously served as an Assistant Storekeeper on the R.M.S. Titanic, and survived her sinking on her maiden voyage in April 1912 by jumping 100 feet from the poop deck over the propellors just as the stern disappeared into the freezing North Atlantic sold for £24,000 against an estimate of £8,000-10,000. It was bought by private collector of Medals with Interesting stories [lot 98].

Also of note was the outstanding and well-documented Second War and Great War ‘group of thirteen awarded to Brigadier J. P. Girvan, 15th Canadian Infantry Battalion, the most decorated officer of the 15th (48th Highlanders of Canada) Infantry Battalion in the Great War which sold for £16,000 against an estimate of £6,000-8,000 to a Canadian agent on behalf of a Canadian institution.

The Crimea Medal awarded to Private W. Baker of 17th Lancers, who was killed in the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava on 25 October 1854 realised £16,000 against an estimate of £8,000-10,000 and was bought by a private collector. As Oliver Pepys, Associate Director and Medal Auctioneer at Noonans explains: “There is always a lot of interest in medals linked to the Charge of the Light Brigade and this was reflected in the price achieved in today’s sale.”

FORTHCOMING AUCTIONS

  • 18 JANUARY ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
  • 24 JANUARY BRITISH TOKENS, TICKETS AND PASSES
  • 1-2 FEBRUARY COINS AND HISTORICAL MEDALS
  • 8-9 FEBRUARY THE PUDDESTER COLLECTION (PART 1)
Noonans Mayfair

NOONANS — A BRIEF HISTORY - In 1991, its first year of trading, the company held three medal auctions and sold 1,200 lots for a total hammer price of £553,000, however 30 years later, Noonans is established as the premier medal auctioneer worldwide. Two years later, in 1993, it opened a coin department which also auctions commemorative medals and tokens. In 2015 Noonans (then Dix Noonan Webb) added jewelry to its sales calendar as well as setting up a stand alone banknotes department and expanding into premises next door. In 2021, they achieved a total hammer price of £17,414,521 and the total number of lots sold across all departments was 25,298. To date the company has sold in excess of 375,000 lots totalling over £220 million.

NOONANS 16 BOLTON STREET
MAYFAIR LONDON W1J 8BQ 
WWW.NOONANS.CO.UK

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