Rare collection of medals awarded to Keswick war hero fetch £30k at auction

27.07.22 war medals awarded keswick war hero itv border Noomans Auctions
Distinguished Service Order, G.VI.R., Distinguished Service Cross, G.VI.R., Albert Medal, 2nd Class, for Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea, 1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; Africa Star; War Medal 1939-45; Jubilee 1935. Credit: Noonans Auction House

A rare collection of medals, awarded to a Keswick man during the second world war have sold for £32,000 at auction today.

They were awarded posthumously to Royal Navy Commander Walter Roger Marshall-A'Deane, who died during his attempts to rescue others off the coast of Crete in 1941. 

The Greek island of Crete was heavily fought over during World War Two.

Commander Marshall was trying to defend the island against the Nazis. His ship, the H.M.S Greyhound, was sunk and he was rescued. Then he died trying to save other drowning sailors.

Commander Roger Marshall A'Deane Credit: Noonans

His ship had been hit by three Stuka bombers and sank within 5 to 10 minutes. 74 other men also lost their lives.Experts say the set of eight medals is a rare collection.

Christopher Mellor-Hill from Noonans Auction House said: "It probably is almost unique to get the DSO, the DSC and the Albert Medal for Saving Life. And then also the Albert Medal is rarer for naval or for C gallantry than the land one is."So again, that adds to the rarity of the great combination. And then on top of that, of course, you've got this wonderful story of heroism." The medals were awarded to the next of kin and passed down through the generations.

But now his grandson has no one to pass them on to, and it's time for him to find a new home for the medals where they will be appreciated.The family will hope that these medals are treasured by their new owners and that the sacrifice of their original owner will forever be remembered.

  • Report by Matthew Taylor

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