Militaria blog: Free valuations of medals and all military items at Tamworth and Lichfield

THE stories behind items of militaria frequently turn out to be fascinating and inspiring, writes medals and militaria specialist Jeff Clark.

I specialise in British WW1 and WW2 medals and have been involved in the field of militaria for 20 years.

The variety of items which I see as a valuer for Richard Winterton Auctioneers is vast

We hold monthly sales at The Tamworth Auction Rooms in Church Street and offer free valuations every Thursday from 10am-4pm.

Valuation appointments at our Fradley HQ may also be arranged.

All medals that come into the saleroom are given full research and the stories behind them frequently turn out to be fascinating and inspiring.

If you are not familiar with the field of medals and militaria and have some items you would like appraising, I am here to help so please get in touch to arrange an appointment.

‘Exceptional’ local medals

A memorable collection we were honoured to handle at The Tamworth Auction Rooms recently was that of the medals of a local soldier who made it home from WW1 despite being gassed in the trenches.

Born at the end of the 19th century at a house in Aldergate, just yards from our Church Street saleroom, Private William J Richards of the North Staffs Regiment was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an enemy attack… utterly regardless of personal danger”.

The oldest British award for gallantry, the DCM was a decoration established in 1854 by Queen Victoria for gallantry in the field by other ranks of the British Army.

Only ranked below the Victoria Cross – which was introduced in 1856 – the DCM was discontinued in 1993 when it was replaced by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.

Private William Richards’ medals archive sold at £1,400.

Pictured above, Pte Richards’ DCM, 1914-1915 trio of medals and archive including a Princess Mary Christmas tin sold for £1,400.

This brave soldier survived the trenches and returned from the war to live a simple life as a carpenter.

He married at St Edith’s Church and stayed in Tamworth but sadly died in his early 50s from lung complications – probably caused by being gassed in WW1.

Dressed for success at auction

At Tamworth recently we took in a huge consignment of military kit bags, equipment, caps and uniforms.

It had been accumulated by a gentleman who had collected anything and everything and we had no information as to what treasures might have been amongst it all.

But we leave no stone unturned and uncovered a wonderful cache of military clothing which exceeded £700 at auction.

One gem was a WW2 Airborne long oversmock dated 1942, pictured above.

Sleeveless and green in colour, it was made by Cohen and Wilks Ltd in September 1942.

In good condition with all buttons present and correct, it sold at auction for £340.

Another interesting lot was a selection of WW2 era and later military hats, pictured above.

Including a steel helmet dated 1940 with net cover and a RAF peaked cap, they totalled £220 at auction.

Not a bad result from a bundle which could have been thrown away!

I’m looking forward to sharing more tales from the saleroom here in the coming weeks, so watch this space!

Jeff Clark offers free valuations at Tamworth every Thursday from 10am-4pm. To book, telephone 01827 217746 or email tamworth@richardwinterton.co.uk. Jeff will also be at The Lichfield Auction Centre at Fradley Park on Thursday, August 10. To book, telephone 01543 251081 or email office@richardwinterton.co.uk.

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