War hero’s medals are a rare auction lot

Trainee Auctioneer Jack Marshall at Louis Johnson Auctioneers at Morpeth with Frank Poulter's medals.'REF 2110146560
Trainee Auctioneer Jack Marshall at Louis Johnson Auctioneers at Morpeth with Frank Poulter's medals.'REF 2110146560

A rare collection of medals awarded to a Northumberland war hero are set to go under the hammer.

Louis Johnson Auctioneers in Morpeth will be selling off eight medals awarded to Frank Thomas Poulter for campaigns in India, the Boer War and the First World War.

And among them are a rare Military Cross, the third level of decorations for officers, and a Distinguished Conduct Medal, which is regarded as second only to the Victoria Cross in prestige.

There is also a presentation case and an original photograph of Sergeant Major Poulter.

Auctioneer John Hayes said: “Sgt Major Poulter had a long and distinguished career with the Northumberland Fusiliers. He clearly has been a professional soldier and someone very brave. It is quite a group of medals and some are very rare.”

The Distinguished Conduct Medal was awarded to Sgt Major Poulter for gallantry in the field in the face of the enemy during the Boer War, when he served in the 10th Battalion Mounted Infantry.

He received the Military Cross on October 14, 1916, for conspicuous gallantry on several occasions during active operations in the First World War, including rescuing five men from a blown-in dug-out under heavy shell fire, leading stretcher-bearers with great bravery and bringing in many wounded.

The soldier’s other awards comprise the Indian General Service Medal, Hazara, 1888, awarded when he was a Private in the 2nd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, a Queen’s South Africa Medal for service in the Transvaal, Orange Free State and Cape Colony, and the King’s South Africa Medal.

There are also Victory, War and Star medals, which were awarded to those who served in the First World War and are sometimes referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.

The lot is being sold by the great great grandson of Sgt Major Poulter from a local estate.

It is estimated it could go for between £600 and £800, but due to the special nature of the medals, it could be far higher.

Trainee Auctioneer Jack Marshall said: “The lot is very unusual. We have estimated it to the value of £600 to £800, but we are being very conservative with that. We expect the actual value to be a lot more and to see a lot of interest in this.”

The medals will form part of a 900-lot sale at Louis Johnson Auction House in Bridge Street, Morpeth, on Saturday, November 1, from 9.30am. Viewing will open two days before.

For more information visit www.louis-johnson.co.uk