A rare Victoria Cross medal group awarded to Canadian Lieutenant Colonel DV Currie is to be auctioned at Dix Noonan Webb.
The set is valued $396,700-476,040 ahead of the September 27-28 auction.
Tank commander Currie received the honour after he captured the village of St Lambert-sur-Vives during the Battle of Falaise Gap in August 1944.
Only 181 Victoria Crosses were awarded during the second world war
The fighting was extraordinarily fierce and lasted three gruelling days, during which Currie got no rest at all.
Thanks to his extraordinary leadership the Allies took the village, closing off a main escape route for German troops. Once he was relieved, Currie is said to have immediately fallen asleep standing up.
He would later write in a report: “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.”
Currie remains the sole recipient of a VC from the Royal Canadian Armoured Troops and one of only 16 Canadians to receive the honour during the entire war (181 Victoria Crosses were awarded overall).
Victoria Crosses are the highest honour available to members of the British and Commonwealth military and are thus highly sought after by collectors. The record is £1.5m ($1.8m), set for one awarded to Captain Noel Chavasse – one of only three men to be awarded two VCs.
It’s worth noting that Canadian Victoria Crosses can only be taken out of the country with a cultural property export permit. This factor may affect the result.
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