Page last updated at 19:50 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:50 UK

High price for war hero's medals

Medals awarded to Major Herbert James
Major James won seven medals for acts of bravery during World War I

Seven medals belonging to a reclusive World War I hero have fetched 211,725 at auction.

Major Herbert James died alone in a rented flat in Kensington, west London and the medals were discovered by his landlord after the war hero's death.

The seven medals include a Gallipoli Victoria Cross, Military Cross and a French Croix de Guerre with palms.

The price of the medals is the second highest amount ever paid for a Victoria Cross group, the auctioneers said.

Major James, who was originally from Birmingham, served with the Worcestershire Regiment.

Major Herbert James
Major James lived alone in the flat and received no guests

After his death in 1958 the medals were found along with a Victoria Cross list by the landlord.

Among the acts of bravery at Gallipoli in 1915 the valiant soldier was applauded for taking a one-man stand against the enemy's bullets.

Earlier specialist auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb (DNW) had said the medals could fetch up to 180,000.

Christopher Hill, client services director for DNW, said: "We're very happy it has gone to a good home - a private collector who will display it at a museum."

"It (the price) reflects the strength of emotion for Gallipoli in people's minds."


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Birmingham Post Gallipoli hero's Victoria Cross will go under the hammer - 11 hrs ago

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