'First' WW2 Victoria Cross medal could make an historic $1m in Melbourne


The first Australian World War II Victoria Cross to ever come to auction will be sold in Melbourne, later this week.

A single lot containing the VC awarded to Australian Ted Kenna for his actions in New Guinea in 1945, along with nine other medals he received, is expected to make close to $1m, when it comes to auction at a Noble Numismatics sale on July 28.

The VC is awarded for valour in the face of the enemy and is the highest British and Commonwealth decoration.

Kenna, who died last year, single handedly took out a Japanese machine gun post, risking his own life in the process.

He tried a similar move two weeks later, receiving an almost fatal bullet to the jaw.


Kenna's 10 medals come with a $1m estimate

Victoria Crosses are rare, and those from the second world war especially so, as auction manager Jim Nobel explains.

"There's only 22 [Australian] World War II VCs. It's the rarity of it which makes it a bit more valuable," Nobel told Australia's ABC News.

Victoria Crosses are hugely desirable with militaria collectors, due to the personal stories associated with them and their great rarity. Just 182 were issued during World War II.

The first Victoria Cross awarded to a British soldier is currently available on the private market. John Knox received the medal for his efforts with the Scots Fusilier Guards in the Crimean War between 1854 and 1855.

Elsewhere, a World War II VC awarded to RAF Flight Lieutenant Bill Reid sold for £335,000 in 2009.

You can hear all about the result of the auction and other militaria news here at Paul Fraser Collectibles.


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