A scarce Victoria Cross medal group has auctioned for $738,000 at Dix Noonan Webb this week.
Awarded to Canadian Lieutenant Colonel DV Currie for his actions during the second world war, it's one of only 16 awarded to Canadians in the conflict.
"St Lambert proved to me that I could measure up," Currie would later write
A mere 181 Victoria Crosses – the highest honour of the British and Commonwealth armed forces – were awarded throughout the war.
Currie received the accolade for his conduct during the Battle of Falaise Gap in August 1944.
The ferocious fighting lasted three days. By the end of it, the sleep-deprived Currie had inspired his men to take the village of St Lambert-sur-Vives from the Germans, cutting off a major escape route.
Once relieved, Currie is said to have fallen asleep standing up.
The VC (far left) is much coveted by militaria collectors
In his report on the battle, Currie wrote: “There is little to be thankful for in war, but I was thankful for one thing, as a result of the battle for St Lambert, I know that there is much to fear in war, but to me, the greatest fear was the possibility that I might not measure up to that which is asked of me.
“St Lambert proved to me that I could measure up, and left me with the certain conviction that the war with Germany was in its final stages and that we would be equal to the task ahead of us - The final defeat of Germany.”
The record for a VC remains £1.5m ($1.8m), achieved by the first world war pair awarded to Captain Noel Chavasse – one of only three men given two VCs.
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