Page last updated at 10:22 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 11:22 UK

Family concern at rare medal sale

Soldiers in Kandahar
Kandahar in Afghanistan remains a flash point today

Medals won in Afghanistan and Egypt in the 19th Century by a piper from the Highlands have been offered for sale.

Sandy Corbett, from Avoch in the Black Isle, was one of two pipers to play the 72nd Highlands into Kandahar following the regiment's march from Kabul.

His grandson Douglas Corbett, of Annan, Dumfries, said the auction was arranged without the family's knowledge.

London auctioneers Spink would not comment on the claim when contacted by BBC Scotland.

Thursday's sale of the rare collection of four decorations was expected to raise between 6,000 and 7,000.

Mr Corbett was made aware of the auction by Inverness genealogist Graeme Mackenzie, who had read a Press report that said the piper's descendants were not known.

Mr Mackenzie said it had been relatively easy to trace the soldier's family.

He said: "He married in Edinburgh after he left the army in 1884. He had a fairly large family which means there must have been some descendants.

"Because Corbett is a relatively unusual name, it was that much easier to trace forward and eventually I got in touch with his grandson and he knew nothing about the sale of these medals."

Mr Corbett said the medals were handed down to his sister, but they disappeared following her death.

He said: "I am not interested about the money at all. It's part of my heritage, this is what I thought would become mine and then my son's.

"I thought I had lost them forever, it was quite a shock to learn they are in somebody else's hands."

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