North East medal collection fetches record-breaking results at auction

Anderson and Garland auctioneers recently held a specialist Medal Auction, comprised of some of the rarest medals and militaria that any collector could hope to acquire.

Hundreds of medals were sold at auction to reach of total of £94,000.




What was the source of the Medals Auction?

Thomas Mabon contacted our medal expert auctioneer, Fred Wyrley-Birch, by submitting two photographs for a pre-sale valuation. He offered a collection of medals and militaria on behalf of his late brother David.

Mr Wyrley-Birch offered to come out to view the collection and provide a pre-auction medal valuation. Our auctioneers were stunned and pleasantly surprised to find a collection of hundreds of medals in his loft in Hetton-le-Hole.

We consigned the entire collection and proceeded to spend months extensively researching and cataloguing the medal collection for auction. Further medal valuations were offered for submissions from around Newcastle, the North East and the Scottish Borders. The medal valuations were time consuming, but the results were outstanding.

The medal auction drew worldwide interest, with buyers from all over the world including the UK, the US, India, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Russia, Romania, Singapore, Taiwan, Ukraine and more.

Thomas Mabon and his wife were very pleased to be in the saleroom, however they were - not quite but nearly - the only people in the seats, as is the modern way!

Through our online bidding platform, 75% of the auction sold online. Around 15% of the sale went to telephone bidders and 5% to commission bids. Only about 5% of the medals sold in the room! Medals are highly suitable for an online auction, as they are simple to post and easily tradeable.

The Medals Auction was so successful that all but five lots sold.


Highlights from The Medal Auction & The David Mabon Collection


The Most Honourable Order of the Bath – sold for £3,600


The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Knight Commander (Military) KCB, comprising: Victorian 18ct yellow gold and enamel neck badge, by R & S Garrard & Co, 1877, with enamel, on deep red ribbon with yellow metal clasp, and a white metal star, with yellow metal mounts and enamel, in original fitted case by R & S Garrard & Co, 25 Haymarket, London.


Distinguished Flying Cross Group – sold for £3,500

Second World War Distinguished Flying Cross group, awarded to 146647 Flying Officer J.S. Watson, 617 Squadron Royal Air Force, comprising Distinguished Flying Cross, engraved to back date '1944', War star, Air Crew Europe star, War medal and Defence medal, mounted and framed; together with original Royal Mint box; Observer's and Air Gunner's Flying Log Book, showing 750 hours of day and night flying in mostly Halifax and Lancaster bombers; photograph of Watson with Group Captain G.L. Cheshire V.C., D.S.O. & 2 bars, D.F.C. and Wing Commander J.B. Tait D.S.O. & 3 bars, D.F.C. & bar.

Notes: awarded D.F.C. June 28th 1944 (Auth 5G/s.1705/3/P.1).


DCM and MM First World War medal group – sold for £1,700

Awarded to W-3350 Sergeant Frank Dronfield, Royal Field Artillery, comprising: Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal, War medal, 1914-15 star and Victory medal.


Distinguished Flying Medal – sold for £1,600

Second World War Distinguished Flying Medal, awarded to 1415475 Flight Sergeant George Alfred Leonard, 97Squadron Royal Air Force, with photocopies of operations record book and recommendation for honours and awards.


Distinguished Service Order and bar – sold for £1,500

George V Distinguished Service Order and bar, unattributed, enamel and silver, in Garrard & Co fitted case.


Military General Service medal – sold for £1,500

Queen Victoria Military General Service medal, awarded to Private William Hilton, 9th Regiment of Foot, four clasps comprise: Nive, Nivelle, St. Sebastian and Vittoria; with original card box.

Notes: Private William Hilton was from Bolton Lancashire, enlisted for limited service in May 1809. He was wounded at St. Sebastian and was discharged on 28th May 1816 aged 27.


Boulton's Trafalgar Medal – sold for £1,300

A rare named Boulton's Trafalgar Medal, 1805, 'white metal', awarded to Coxswain Robert Buckless, H.M.S. Victory, engraved above ships on the reverse, edge stamped.

Notes: Buckless (also Bookless) was born 1776 in Newcastle upon Tyne. He was pressed into service with his first note of service was 31st May 1804, as able seaman on HMS Victory (pay no.SB 393, later 1st June 1806 as Coxswain on HMS Victory and a change of vessel to HMS Ocean 15th January 1806 (pay no.SLVO 641).


Arctic Discoveries medal – sold for £1,300

A Queen Victoria Arctic Discoveries medal 1818-1855, unnamed as issued, with ribbon.



If you’d like a medal valuation from our auctioneers, ring us on 0191 430 3000 to arrange an appointment or submit an online valuation form.



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