Rare Constabulary medal for bravery in IRA ambush may bring $13,100

Next week, Warwick and Warwick are holding a Coins, Medals and Banknotes sale with an unusual highlight.

This is a rare 1921 Constabulary Medal for Ireland, accompanied by a WWI BWM disc, WWII France and Germany Star, Defence Medal and BWM to Constable E.W.G. Gurr.

The Constabulary Medal is in very fine condition, despite the remainder having suffered some fire damage. The WWI Medal is buckled but all the naming is un-damaged, (a Victory Medal was lost in the fire).

Only 315 Constabulary Medals were awarded in total including 55 for 1921. Eric William George Gurr was born in 1900 in Tunbridge Wells, joined the Royal Navy as a boy in 1916 and served on HMS Barham 1917-18 before being invalided out on May 30 1918, with copy of his Royal Navy service record.

Constabulary Medal set
Constabulary Medal set

He enlisted in the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1920 and won the Constabulary Medal for action at an IRA ambush at Connors Hill, near Slea Head, Dingle, Co Kerry.

The lot comes with a copy of a postcard written by him that says "This place was near the scene of the ambush at Connors Hill where I was waiting with the Ford, the road is about the same as this all the way along it so you can picture the position we were in Eric."

The set also comes with a copy of a photo showing Gurr in RIC uniform, another with him in civvies and a photocopy of a photo showing him in Royal Navy uniform stood by HMS Barham bell.

He is believed to have been a member of the Secret Army in WWII formed and trained for sabotage in the event of a German invasion. Sold on behalf of his family, it has never appeared before on the market, and is extremely rare.

The relatively modest estimate is £8,000 ($13,100) in the June 15 sale which takes place in Warwick, UK and online. Given the strong medal markets at the moment, it should make someone a strong alternative investment.


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