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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 May 2007, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
War poet's lost medal discovered
Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon was disillusioned with the First World War
A medal given to one of Britain's most famous war poets has been found in an attic on a Scottish island.

The family of Siegfried Sassoon believed he had hurled his Military Cross into the River Mersey in protest over the First World War.

But the medal has been found 90-years later at Benbuie Lodge on the island of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland.

The item, along with Sassoon's identification tag, could fetch 25,000 at auction at Christie's in London.

His Webley revolver, which was also found in the attic, has been given to the Imperial War Museum.

Sassoon acheived renown for his vehement criticism of the war and was acclaimed as a writer of satirical anti-war verse.

We are extremely honoured to be entrusted with offering this medal for auction
Christie's spokesman

His medal was discovered by Robert Pulvertaft, whose stepfather George was Sassoon's son.

Mr Pulvertaft was clearing out the attic when he came across the award.

Sassoon, who was known as "Mad Jack" for his acts of bravery, won the Military Cross for bringing in wounded and dying comrades lying close to German lines in 1916.

He returned to Britain in April 1917 after being wounded and became increasingly disillusioned with the war. He later refused to return to duty.

Rather than court martial a national hero, the army sent Sassoon to Craiglockhart Hospital near Edinburgh to be treated for shell-shock.

The same year he was thought to have hurled the medal into the Mersey in a "paroxysm of exasperation".

Famous soldier

But it was only its ribbon that he had sent floating away on the river.

A Christie's spokesman said the medal and identification tag were expected to fetch between 15,000 and 25,000.

He added: "Siegfried Sassoon is one of the most famous soldiers of the Great War. We are extremely honoured to be entrusted with offering this medal for auction."

After the war Sassoon wrote six volumes of autobiography. He was awarded the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 1957.

The Military Cross and identification tag will be auctioned on 6 June.


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