Antiques Roadshow expert floored by ‘best WWII medals he’s ever come across’
AN Antiques Roadshow expert has expressed their joy after coming across the best WWII medals he has ever seen – but it came with a heartbreaking story.
During a visit to Sefton Park in Liverpool on the BBC One show, expert Mark Smith was left utterly stunned when presented with a medal from World War II.
The medal was given to one of the first men to land on D-Day.
Among the medals the the guest had brought along to proudly show off was that of her great uncle and the man in question known during the war as Lieutenant Colonel Edward Maxwell Morrison.
Speaking to Mark, the smiling guest revealed: “He was the first man on June Beach on D-Day and then he led the liberation of Caen.”
Astounded at the medal, Mark informed her that her great uncle was two medals away from being awarded the Victoria Cross after noticing the military cross on the medal.
He explained: “It has this on the ribbon, the bar. Now, that means he was awarded the military cross twice.”
Incredibly, the medal had clear and direct reference as to the exact location of the beach as to where he landed.
He informed the guest that this was an astonishing feat as many medal collectors often struggle to get such precise information.
Mark went on: “We have an exact moment in time, because when you look over the back it says, ‘H hour, D-Day, June 6th, 1944. Mike Green, Juno Beach’.”
He added: “That is exactly what a medal collector wants.”
The expert was beaming from ear to ear as he expressed how rare and desirable such a medal was as the guest looked on with amazement and thankful to be the owner of such an item.
When considering how much the item would be able to command at an auction, Mark said: “Because of that, you’re looking at at least £5,000, thank you so much for showing me one of the best military crosses from World War Two I’ve really ever come across.”
In order to offer up a little more context, Mark discovered an old newspaper article which gave a more clear description of the circumstance surrounding Morrison which came with a heart-wrenching twist.
Reading from the article, Mark said aloud: “As Morrison leapt off the assault craft he disappeared into 9ft of water. But struggled ashore into a hail of mortar and machine gunfire.
“Six of his men were promptly cut down by the machine gun, although the rest reached the dunes where they regrouped.
“They then charged a heavily defended machine gun post further inland. Morrison gave the order Fixe bayonets. In the hand-to-hand fighting, we deserved the post and although we killed many more surrendered.”
As Mark informed the guest once again how special the medal was, she acknowledged her great uncle’s bravery and how impeccably rare such an item was.
Antiques Roadshow airs Sundays on BBC One and is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.