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Private Sidney Godley's VC is for sale


Simon Birch
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What a lovely medal group.

All O.C enthusiasts will be drooling.

A nice detail that his German officer captors invited him to dinner when the VC award was announced.

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Simon,

A great story! Thank you for posting it.

All the best,

Gary

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No doubt it will be appearing in a museum near you soon (as long as you live in London that is :whistle: )

Andy

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I think I will have to check my piggy bank - but may need to pass the hat around...

Simon

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No doubt it will be appearing in a museum near you soon (as long as you live in London that is :whistle: )

Andy

And why shouldn't it be? Given that the Royal Fusiliers were a London regiment (both small 'r' and capital 'R')... But reading between the lines I assume you think/hope that melord Ashcroft will buy it for the IWM - and I hope he does!

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I think I will have to check my piggy bank - but may need to pass the hat around...

Simon

I'm OK for ten bob if it's any help.

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Total sale price £276,000

Lets hope that it does end up in an appropriate home.

Keith

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I was just pondering if I would like to own a VC. My initial thought was of course I would – what a great thing to have on the wall.

However on reflection I think not. Apart from the security issues that would presumably mean that it would have to be in a vault somewhere, medals of this kind really should be on display where the general public can remember the effort and valour that went into winning one. So I do hope that this collection does not go into a private collection that hides them away. Medals were always meant for showing & to be proud of – and not hiding in a vault.

And my piggy bank sighed with relief!

Simon

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According to the Daily Telegraph today here in the UK the buyer was not Lord Ashcroft so if this is correct to all intents and purposes this unique medal will disappear into someone’s collection and not be seen again which for what is a national treasure will be most unfortunate to say the least.

Norman

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Unfortunate doesn't begin to describe it. Such a shame it will be hidden from view,but you never know perhaps the new "owner" will have it displayed securely somewhere.

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The VC won by Lance Corporal Charles Alfred Jarvis on the same day 23 August 1914 is the property of Birmingham Museum.

Earlier on this year it was not on display. I agree, should not be hidden from view.

Billy

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Private Godley's son bought his father's medals along to a lecture at the National Army Museum a few years ago. Apparently, when his father used to go parades, he would to produce the medals out of his raincoat pocket. I think his son bought the medals to the NAM in a carrier bag.

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This is an article published in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday 21st July 2012:-

DAUGHTERS HEARTBREAK AT SALE OF VICTORIA CROSS

The sale of a Victoria Cross won by a First World War hero has “devastated” his daughter, who wanted it donated to a museum. The medal was awarded to Sidney Godley for his “coolness and gallantry” at Nimy Bridge during the Battle of Mons in August 1914 and was the first given to a Private in the war.

It had been in his family since he received it at Buckingham Palace in 1919. The war hero’s daughter Eileen Slade, 89 from Essex, said the sale was like “losing one of the family”. Her nephew Colin Godley who sold the medal, said it was a “family matter”. The VC fetched £276,000.

Norman

Edited to add: Much more in the internet version of the article here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9416262/Sale-of-Victoria-Cross-leaves-family-devastated.html

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  • 4 weeks later...

That is a very sad story - I wonder what the costs of insuring the medals was....

Simon

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