Lord Ashcroft pays record price for ultimate Victoria Cros

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by the_boy_syrup, Nov 22, 2009.

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  1. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    The "ultimate" gallantry medal – the only double Victoria Cross from the Great War – has been bought by Tory peer Lord Ashcroft for a world record price of nearly £1.5 million.

    The story behind the gallantry medals of Captain Noel Chavasse is deeply moving: he was awarded the second of his VCs after dying from battlefield injuries in 1917. Since then at least 12 memorials have been erected worldwide in his honour – more than for any other recipient of the Commonwealth's most prestigious bravery award.

    Captain Chavasse's service and gallantry medals were left by his family decades ago to St Peter's College, Oxford. The college has now sold the medals to Lord Ashcroft, the billionaire Tory peer. According to college sources, the price was "close to £1.5 million", easily topping the previous world record for a medal, rumoured to be a private sale worth £1 million.

    Captain Chavasse received one of only three VCs and Bar – or double VCs – that have been awarded since the medal was created by Queen Victoria in 1856, initially to honour servicemen from the Crimean War.

    The Chavasse medals are now guaranteed place of honour in the new Lord Ashcroft Gallery, which will open at the Imperial War Museum next year and which is being built with a £5 million donation from the Tory peer.

    The gallery will house Lord Ashcroft's collection of VCs, which he started to build up in 1986. It is now the largest collection of VCs in the world and is estimated to be worth at least £30 million. VCs and George Crosses already owned by the museum will also go on display in the gallery.

    Rest here (Mods please feel free to move to Mil Hitory if need be)


    Not sure if it's right for the collage to make a profit from them if his medals were donated for free shouldn't they have gave them to the nation?
  2. There will always be a market, but I am glad that one man has the cash and the interst to buy them, in effect, for the nation that awards them (they are owned by a trust). Next year there will be a fantastic exhibit for all to see rather than the medals gathering dust on some collector's shelf.
  3. £1.5 million for a bit of metal? Some people just don't know how to spend money. Think of the banger-racing track he could have had for that price! Or a seat in the Director's Box at Ibrox.

    I thought Chavasse's VC* was already in the IWM. Obviously not.
  4. I find it disgusting that the college sold these medals. Luckily Lord Ashcroft purchased them and hopefully they will remain in the UK.
  5. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    They will now - Labour failed to nail him, and thus send him abroad, albeit they had a good crack at foreign investments, just to try and stop the Conservatives getting donations.

    Seems Ashcroft is quite the philanthropist (and so would I be if I was a billionaire), and is somewhat proud of British achievements. Fair dos to him for putting his money into creating a large collection that is in essence a demonstration of some of the finest examples of bravery during Britain's recent past - and he's showing it to the public.
  6. IIRC they failed to nail Ashcroft but succeeded in nailing themselves.

    The recent legislation forced through by Labour backbenchers, against the party whip, stops large political donations from foreign nationals. This doesn't affect Ashcroft as he donates to the Tories through a UK company.

    It does, however, stop many of the few, remaining large, individual donations from lefty tax exiles, foreign billionaires seeking British passports and nod-domiciled businesses seeking preferential treatment in the UK.

    Looks like the entire Labour back bench wont be appearing on Mastermind any time soon. Then again, as around 90% of Labour's income comes from the unions, I don't suppose they're too bothered.
  7. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Intersting to note from the article

    I believe Flt Lt William Reids V.C. which was sold the other day went to Australia why the RAF didn't come in for it I don't know