This was the WW1 DFC, DCM group of eight awarded to flying ace and Qantas Co-Founder Lieutenant Paul Joseph McGinness.
Ahead of the auction, Head of Collectables & Books at Leonard Joel Giles Moon explained how delighted they were to have the opportunity of offering the medals:
"Leonard Joel has sold important medal groups in the past though none quite as significant as the McGinness Collection. We are particularly excited to be offering this group as it is being offered with a remarkable archive associated with the formation of QANTAS which was co-founded by McGinness in 1920.
"The collection includes photographs of some of the first QANTAS flights piloted by McGinness in the company’s first aircraft, an Avro 504K."
It is believed to be unique as no other Australian serviceman is known to have received both the Distinguished Flying Cross and Distinguished Conduct Medal during WWI or WWII.
McGinness was one of the few survivors to take part in the ill-fated charge at the Nek at Gallipoli and was later awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for action against the Turkish Army at Jifjafa in 1916.
He later flew Bristol Fighters in the Middle East, gaining seven victories and recognition as a flying ace - five victories was considered the qualification. He was awarded the DFC for action on 24 August, 1918.
Having lost the funding to take part himself, McGinness undertook surveying for the Great Air Race. He and his partner mad painfully slow progress on the roads, inspiring them to found the Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Service (QANTAS)
The collection was expected to sell for AU$160,000-200,000 (up to US$205,000) in Melbourne or online on November 20. However, the uniqueness of the occasion was not lost on bidders, and the final sale price was an impressive AU$252,000.
Collectibles such as medals associated with heroic actions will always be treasured by collectors. For example, we're currently proud to own a list of recipients of the Victoria Cross which has been signed by VC winner Rambahadur Limbu.