Grenville Grayer’s medals archive, which includes his British Empire Medal in original box and a wealth of other paperwork and photographs.

Collection of soldier who helped capture Heinrich Himmler sells for £6,710

A MIDLANDS soldier’s archive including some of the last words ever written by evil SS leader Heinrich Himmler has sold for £6,710.

Grenville Grayer’s role in the capture of one of the 20th century’s most notorious figures came under the spotlight as his collection went under the hammer as four separate lots with Richard Winterton Auctioneers.

The sale on Thursday, March 24, at The Tamworth Auction Rooms in Church Street included Mr Grayer’s British Empire Medal and associated archive along with the macabre ‘lines’ inked by the evil architect of the Holocaust during interrogation and Himmler’s silk washbag, liberated by the Army Intelligence Corps sergeant in the hours that followed the SS chief’s suicide by cyanide capsule.

The lot sold at £4,200 hammer price.

Other trophies of war from the collection of Mr Grayer, who died in 1995 aged 78, included a rare SS field cap – which sold for £2,000 – a swastika armband complete with original manufacturer’s slip, fetching £170, and a Luftwaffe parachute harness, which made £340.

Other trophies of war from Mr Grayer's collection include a rare M41 tropical SS cap, a swastika armband complete with original manufacturer’s slip and a Luftwaffe pilot’s parachute harness.
Other trophies of war from Mr Grayer’s collection included a rare M41 tropical SS cap, a swastika armband complete with original manufacturer’s slip and a Luftwaffe pilot’s parachute harness.

The total hammer price for the entire archive was £6,710.

“A quality group of medals to a soldier, with quality provenance, attracting a quality result,” said Nick Thompson, militaria specialist at Richard Winterton Auctioneers, who researched Mr Grayer’s archive at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park.

The beloved uncle of a Lichfield man, Grenville Grayer hailed from Oldbury and later Great Barr, Birmingham, and became a businessman in Walsall following WW2.

Left: Himmler wrote lines repeating “Ich soll das Reinigungsgerät mitnehmen” which roughly translates to “I must bring my rifle cleaning kit”. Right: Grenville Grayer as a young sergeant with 45 Field Security Section, Army Intelligence Corps.
Left: Himmler wrote lines repeating “Ich soll das Reinigungsgerät mitnehmen” which roughly translates to “I must bring my rifle cleaning kit”. Right: Grenville Grayer as a young sergeant with 45 Field Security Section, Army Intelligence Corps.

Born in 1917, he joined the Army in 1939 and initially served with the Royal Army Service Corps before joining the newly formed Army Intelligence Corps, completing training in Scotland attached to 45 Field Security Section with the rank of sergeant.

It was while serving with 45 FSS in Germany following the Nazi surrender that he encountered Himmler.

Free valuations of medals and militaria in Tamworth can be booked with Nick Thompson on Tuesday 26th April and Tuesday 3rd May by appointment.

Telephone 01827 217746 or email tamworth@richardwinterton.co.uk to book your slot.

Sale of Grenville Grayer medals archive including Himmler lines

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