First World War medals cross the block in Yorkshire

A group of medals awarded to British First World War officer Sergeant George Franks have sold at Sheffield Auction Gallery in the UK.

The lot included a Distinguished Conduct Medal and a 1914 Star.

Franks medal collection
Sergeant Franks was killed in action in May 1917

Mentioned in dispatches, Franks was awarded the former in March 1917 "for conspicuous gallantry.

"Franks seized an enemy rifle grenade which was burning, threw it away, then tripped a nearby soldier and covered him with his body as the grenade exploded…"

Tragically Franks was killed by an aerial dart dropped from a German aeroplane in May 1917.

Accompanying the lot was a letter of condolence to Franks' sister from his commanding officer Lieutenant Fitzherbert.

It reads: "….your brother was the best Sergeant and bravest man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting…"

The collection realised £7,502 ($10,725) earlier this month.

Auctioneer John Morgan explained: "There had been significant interest before the sale in this group…

"I opened the sale with a significant commission bid of £800 and there was early feverish bidding from all quarters.

"Finally settling down to a straight fight between a gentleman in the room and a telephone bidder, with the hammer finally dropping at £6,200 (£7,502 including buyers premium) to the telephone bidder."

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