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Militaria & Ethnographica Sale Highlights

31st March 2021.

A British War Medal awarded to Sergeant C.E. Keay is being sold together with related items with an estimate of £60-80 in the Militaria & Ethnographica Sale on 14th April. Amongst the collection of photographs, cap badges, wallets and sundry items are pieces of shrapnel and a pocket Bible with a bullet mark and the offending bullet. Sergeant Keay’s life was saved during World War I by the Bible, which was in his breast pocket and deflected a bullet that would otherwise have proved fatal. Keay was later hospitalised from September 1917 to March 1918, when he had over twenty pieces of shrapnel removed from his body.

From World War II comes a No. 2 Service Uniform that once belonged to Captain William Webster R.A.S.C (estimate: £80-120). Captain ‘Bill’ Webster was mentioned in Despatches in Italy in 1944 and was one of the few soldiers to be caught up in between the Communists and non-Communists in the Dekemvriana crisis in Athens in the aftermath of the War. Many people in Athens thought the small British SAS contingent and other support units had changed sides and were supporting ex-Fascists. Bill, who had run a garage in Edinburgh before the war, was organising support for the handful of Sherman tanks, when he was killed by a terrorist grenade.

Also on offer in the sale is a Korea Pair, comprising Korea Medal and United Nations Korea Medal awarded to George Eric Goodwin of Everton following his service in the 11 (Sphinx) Battery during the Battle of the River Imjin in 1951 (estimate: £180-250). An Early 20th Century ‘Roorkhee’ Campaign Chair, a collapsible wood and leather contraption issued to British officers between 1898 and World War II is offered with an estimate of £100-150. The top lot in the sale are a Pair of 19th Century Duelling or Officer’s Pistols by Joseph Manton, a leading London gunsmith, offered with an estimate of £7,000-8,000.

Further highlights of the sale include a collection of posters from the First and Second World Wars, recruiting for the army, blood donors and more.  One of the top lots is a Second World War Air Raid Precautions recruitment poster promoting the Women’s Voluntary Services (estimate: £150-250). Also of note is a Nickel Plated Six-Dial Game Counter by James Dixon & Sons, Sheffield, designed with six dials for counting pheasants, grouse, partridge, rabbits, woodcock and hares (estimate: £2,000-3,000).

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