Signed letters of famous Allied and German wartime figures sell for £2,900

An album of signed photographs, letters and other items associated with famous Allied and German figures from the First and Second World Wars sold for £2,900 at a militaria auction in Shropshire last week.

Something of a ‘Who’s Who’ of famous wartime people, the album included titled photographs of assorted flying aces, German memorabilia and photographs and first day covers of first Mount Everest conquerors in 1953, Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and expedition leader Colonel John Hunt.

The album, which sold to a Southern England bidder, was consigned to the auction at Halls’ Battlefield salerooms in Shrewsbury by a local vendor who had bought it from a collector of Nazi ephemera.

Signatures included Albert Ball, Cecil Lewis, Colonel W. Bishop, William Rhodes Moorhouse, Willy Coppens, Eddie Rickenbacker and Thomas Sopwith together with a letter from Charles Meredith Bouverie Chapman.

The German memorabilia included a letter from Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, a signed photograph of Hermann Goering, his wife and daughter on the front and Christmas greetings on the reverse.

There were also signed photographs of Eduard Ritter von Schleich and General Von Epp, a Robert Taylor print signed by Sir Douglas Bader, further signed examples by Albert Galland, Walter Oesav, Erich Hartmann, Josef Wurhmheller, Otto Skorzeny, Alan Cobham, Leonard Cheshire, Guy Penrose Gibson, James Doolittle and Francis Gabreski.

Also included were letters from Field Marshal Kesselring, Sir Arthur Harris, Lord Tedder, Ira C. Eaker and Sir John Glub.

A group of seven First World War and inter war medals awarded to Alfred Smith of the Royal Welch Fusiliers sold for £1,100. The medal group included a World War One trio, India general service medal, a 1935 silver jubilee medal, a George V long service and good conduct medal, a meritorious service medal, an Elizabeth II fire brigade medal for long service together with photographs, ephemera and a St John Ambulance badge and clasps.

An officers’ shoulder belt plate for the 85th Regiment of Foot, together with a gold and black belt decorated with white metal arrow decoration and a pair of shoe buckles, made £1,050 while a First World War group of five medals, including the 1914 Mons star with clasp awarded to Sergeant T. H. Pugh of the Shropshire Light Infantry, sold for £750.

Other leading prices were £850 for a French double barrelled percussion side-by-side shotgun, £800 for a Williamson’s Patent, New York percussion pocket ‘Derringer’ single-shot pistol, circa 1870, and £560 for a pair of 19th century percussion pocket pistols, bearing the signature for ‘Manton, London’, £550 for a George V Welsh Guards’ officers dress sword, £510 for an ‘India’ pattern Brown Bess musket, circa 1810 and £420 for a mid-19th century French or Belgian double-action, 10-shot 11mm revolver.

A Victorian pole screen for the Royal Field Artillery, the central panel formed from a sabretache, intricately embroidered with gilt metal gun and motto, sold for £460. The pole screen was the property of Colonel Samuel Parr Lynes of the Royal Horse Artillery, who died 1919.

Colonel Lynes was a direct descendant of Sir William De Parre, from which same line Kateryn Parre, last Queen of King Henry VIII also descended. Great grandson of celebrity Dr Samuel Parr (1747-1825), Lynes lived at the family estate of Garthmeilio, near Corwen after Army service and was High Sherriff of Denbighshire in 1906.

Other interesting lots included a large wooden built model of an 18th/19th century sixth-rate ship with 20 guns, contained within a display case, which sold for £400 and a collection of German figures Napoleonic Military leaders and generals, which made £320.

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