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Victoria Cross sells for £276,000

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I find this part quite touching:

Pte Godley, who was 25 when he was sent to the Western Front with the 4th Royal Fusiliers,

was badly wounded in the attack, on 23 August 1914. He had shrapnel in his back and a bullet

in his skull, but protected British positions in the face of a German onslaught until he was captured.

 

During his four years as a prisoner in Germany, he was told by his captors that he had been awarded

the VC and was invited to dine with the Germans one Christmas Day in recognition of the honour.

 

I wonder how a family can sell such a medal - they must have absolutely no connection to Godley's time

and to his deeds, and they can't seem to imagine the honour it meant for a Private to receive it.

 

I wonder how the Germans knew, that Godley had received the VC?

Did the opponents have some sort of communication?

Edited by Olham

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Still not worth the money... one of these is beyond Price as the price paid for them is the blood and soul of the men and women who are presented with them... :salute:

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It's too bad that no family members were able to retain Pvt Godley's medals.

 

I was present when the niece of Pvt John J. Kelly donated her uncle's medals to the Marine Corps Museum. Two Medals of Honor, six Silver Stars, three Purple Hearts and many others. She said that all of "Uncle Johnny's medals are there, except for one. There was an award that the King of England was supposed to present to him, but being the good Irish Catholic that he was, he reportedly said "No f-ing Protestant is going to hang a medal on me." and refused it.

 

He received one Medal of Honor from the Army and one from the Department of the Navy for the same action at Blanc Mont in October 1918. John Kelly's citation for the Medal of Honor reads: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy at BLANC MONT RIDGE, France, October 3, 1918. Private Kelly ran through our own barrage one hundred yards in advance of the front line and attacked an enemy machine-gun nest, killing the gunner with a grenade, shooting another member of the crew with his pistol and returned through the barrage with eight prisoners." What the citation didn't say was that when he returned, he told his liutenant "See, I told you I'd take care of it."

post-45761-0-85426900-1342699487.jpg

Edited by NS13Jarhead

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Wow, as I recall the US Medal of Honor the VC's equal has stricter rules when dealing with it.

 

Pte Sidney Godley a well deserved recipiant of the VC.

Edited by MAKO69

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Having one of those shady recollections now, but I'm sure the VC was intended to be a medal for valour /conspicuous bravery which levelled all rank and class. You had to be a very man to earn it, and your rank or background was of no importance whatsoever. The 'purity' of the award was re-inforced by the base metal the VC medals are made from, there is no intrinsic value in the metal itself, it is simply brass from a Russian cannon from the Crimean war, and the value is entirely what it stands for. They are not given lightly. It's also the first medal in the row when it's pinned on the chest, and the first letters which appear after your name if or when you have other letters after your name. VC comes first, OBE's, MBE's, QC, whatever else comes later. And at the medal ceremony when awarded by the Queen, out of respect, the VC's are always awarded first, and everybody else being honoured, knights, barons, whatever, have to wait their turn.

I think I'm correct in saying the VC has never been won by a woman. This isn't any kind of sexism against women, merely that the VC is awarded for conspicuous bravery in combat, and traditionally women were never actually combatants.

Edited by Flyby PC

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.

 

I always get sad when I see an honor that once meant so much become nothing more than a commodity, sold off to the highest bidder, and locked away. At least if they can end up in a museum as in Jarhead's example, (and what a phenomenal example it is), they can still be appreciated and seen. Still, in an ideal setting, they would never leave the family.

 

.

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I always get sad when I see an honor that once meant so much become nothing more than a commodity, sold off to the highest bidder, and locked away. At least if they can end up in a museum as in Jarhead's example, (and what a phenomenal example it is), they can still be appreciated and seen. Still, in an ideal setting, they would never leave the family.

Lou, I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately, because he died as a bachelor, Pvt Kelly's niece was his last living relative and she was getting up in age. The place for that type of artifact is with the family. Without that connection, the story can get lost. And unfortunately, nobody at the Marine Museum hears the full story about Pvt Kelly unless I'm taking them on a tour. Most people just look at it as "cool stuff behind the glass" with no thought about whose they were and what they did to earn them.

 

On a side note - if anyone on this forum ever makes it to Quantico, Virginia (about halfway between Richmond and Washington DC), let me know ahead of time and I'll take you on a guided tour of the Marine Museum that you will never forget! We have four biplanes and as a bonus we even have a replica 18th century tavern on the 2nd floor. :drinks:

Edited by NS13Jarhead

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I agree gents, but maybe not 100% all the time. Sometimes families aren't the happiest or most appreciative places to be, and it's nice when those kind of medals find their way into regimental museums and get the respect they deserve from people who appreciate them.

 

I like the VC's attitude, that the actual medal is just a mortal trinket beside the recognition of a man's bravery which stands forevermore.

 

I agree 100% that no veteran or family should ever be compelled to sell a medal they treasure for the sake of hardship. If I was a rich enough man to do it, I like to think I might buy that medal, and hand it straight back to it's rightful owner. Even better, I would rather know sooner than that, and be able to help that serviceman out before he faced the humiliation of being forced to consider selling his medals.

 

It's just that part about me becoming a rich man which is proving troublesome....

Edited by Flyby PC

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I'm with the general sentiment in this thread, it's a sad when such a medal passes from the family of the soldier, and like Flyby PC, I wonder what could be done to prevent such things... I have just thought, though, could it be that they buyer is not just a crass commercialist, but instead paid that sum out of deep reverence and a desire to insure that it - and it's story - is preserved? We can only hope so.

 

And once again, we find and example of the chivalry and mutual respect often found in WWI, as the Germans hosted Pte Godley for Christmas Dinner in honor of his VC. Touching...

 

And finally, NS13Jarhead, i thought if I typed this up it's stay in my head better as a place to visit if I roll that way. Thanks!

 

Tom

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