Ambulance driver's exceptional WW1 collection appears on eBay

Paul Fraser Collectibles wouldn't normally recommend eBay as your first port of call for authentic collectibles, but an exceptional selection of World War One medals has appeared on the popular auction site.

The collection is currently the talk of militaria collectors' forums, comprising the medals, badges and manuscripts of Private Addison H Smith, a WW1 driver in the US Ambulance Service.

Smith began his service as a driver in 1916, serving with French and Italian military forces. Some of the items in this grouping list him with the 542nd Section Ambulance Service.

Private Smith served with the Italian and French armies during his career

He was discharged on May 16th 1919. According to the seller, this grouping consists of everything he brought back at the end of the war.

Although his uniform isn't included, his insignia, a ribbon for the Iron Cross and a Prussian cockade off of a spiked helmet were among the amazing ephemera found in the large trunk.

Items in the lot include an oil portrait, photographs, medals - including Smith's cased Victory medal with two bars, his boxed Occupation medal and an Italian war medal - and buttons from his uniform, along with this overseas and discharge stripes.

What's more, the collection is being sold with a very well-filled out diary detailing Smith's day to day activities - including the horrible after affects of War. Personal letters to his mother outlining his experiences are also in the sale, some censored and some not.

Smith's militaria trove was contained in this leather trunk

Several personal items, such as soap and a soap box, a cased trench mirror, and a personal bible with his name embossed on the cover are also included.

"There is no possible way to do this grouping justice," enthuses the seller.

A shipping cost refund is offered to any collector who is unhappy with their purchase - although the seller has an excellent 'seller rating', and the collection certainly appears exceptional.

There are five days left to bid on this collection at the time of writing (March 22), with bids currently standing at $395 and very likely to rise.

Elsewhere this month, the "mind boggling" personal militaria of a collector who lived and breathed aviation memorabilia went under the hammer.

Watch this space for updates on the results of these sales.

Among the collectibles niches we cover at Paul Fraser Collectibles, few offer the satisfaction of 'holding history in your hands' quite like medals and militaria.

Click here to see some other remarkable militaria collectibles that are currently available on the market.


Images: eBay

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