DNW has another highly sought-after medal in the March 2 sale: the good old VC.
This example of Britain’s highest-ranked military gallantry medal was awarded to Yorkshire hero George Sanders amid the horrific conditions of the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
The VC will be offered with the Military Cross that he won later in the war and his other medals.
Sanders, who had enlisted in the Leeds Rifles, his local Territorial Battalion, took charge of an isolated party of men who were cut off as the British offensive on July 1, 1916, ground to a halt suffering more than 57,000 casualties, including 19,240 killed, in a single day. He and his band of 30 men fought off repeated German assaults over 36 hours despite having run out of food and water.
As an Acting Captain, he won the MC for his bravery during an overwhelming German assault at Kemmel Hill in April 1918. He was last seen standing wounded on the top of a pill-box rallying his men and firing his revolver at the Germans at point-blank range. Somehow he survived and was taken prisoner.
Sanders was the first Leeds Territorial to win the VC and received a hero’s welcome when he returned to his home city.
His medals have been consigned by a direct descendant based in the UK. To be sold with an archive of original documents and photographs, they are estimated at £180,000-220,000.